Pakistan December CPI up 29.7% y/y – statistics bureau

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) -Pakistan’s consumer price index (CPI) for December rose 29.7% from a year before, data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.

The country of 241 million people experienced its highest ever inflation in 2023, with its currency dipping to historic lows until a $3 billion IMF bailout averted an imminent sovereign default in July.

Monthly inflation for December registered a 0.8% rise from the previous month.

Mohammed Sohail, CEO of Topline Securities, said that inflation in Pakistan was showing some signs of slowdown based on month on month inflation data. “With lower local oil prices we may see decline in the year-on-year inflation in January and February,” added Sohail.

The central bank governor said on Friday Pakistan’s inflation rate would ease to around 20%-22% in the 2024 financial year, in a report issued weeks ahead of a national election it is hoped will help restore political and economic stability.

Bank chief Jameel Ahmed also said in his report that CPI surged to 29.2% in 2023, around the upper bound of the bank’s revised projections.

He added that the central bank would keep inflation expectations anchored to achieve its medium-term target of 5%-7%.

(Reporting by Ariba Shahid in Karachi; Editing by Jan Harvey and Alison Williams)