Pakistan consumer prices hit a record 36.4 pct in April, highest in region

Pakistan consumer prices rose a record 36.4 percent in the year toApril, the highest inflation rate in South Asia, up from March’s previous record of 35.4 percent, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s rural areas recorded food inflation of 40.2 percent, the bureau told Reuters. Food inflation for both rural and urban areas reached 48.1 percent, the highest since FY16 when the bureau started recording the categories separately.

Pakistan has been in economic turmoil for months with an acute balance of payments crisis while talks with the
International Monetary Fund to secure $1.1 billion as part of a $6.5 billion bailout have not been successful.

The country has taken measures to try to secure the funding, including removing caps on the exchange rate, resulting
in a depreciating currency, increasing taxes, removing subsidies and raising key interest rates to a record high of 21 percent.

Prices rose 2.4 percent in April from March, the bureau said in a press release.

Persistently high inflation has resulted in major lifestyle and consumption changes, with a greater number of people seeking help.

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