April inflation may hit 38 per cent


In the economic outlook for April, the finance ministry said inflation was expected to remain in the range of 36% to 38%.

The forecast is in line with the market expectations and ground realities.

The highest inflation rate in Pakistan was recorded at 37.8% in December 1973.

However, it may soon be left behind by the recent inflationary wave that has adversely affected the majority of the country’s population.

Last month, the inflation rate was recorded at 35.4%.

The report, prepared by the Economic Adviser Wing of the finance ministry, also conceded that the central bank’s policies were not helping either.

“Although the SBP [State Bank of Pakistan] is enacting [a] contractionary monetary policy, inflationary expectations are not settling down,” the report read.

The SBP has increased the interest rates to a record 21% in the hope of containing the spiralling inflation, but it instead added a huge fiscal cost in the shape of higher debt servicing.

This, in turn, has been fuelling more inflation through borrowings.

The finance ministry’s latest report came on the heels of another one, which conceded that it would take time before the inflation rate slows down to affordable levels.

For the next fiscal year, the government has projected an average inflation rate of 20%.

The finance ministry reiterated that the headline inflation, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), was expected to remain at elevated levels in the months to come.