August 1, 2019 / 1:38 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Pakistan July consumer inflation accelerates to 10.3%

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s consumer inflation rate accelerated to 10.3% year-on-year in July, from 8.9% a month earlier, driven by higher food and fuel prices, the Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, underlining the growing squeeze on household budgets.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, which last month agreed a $6 billion bailout with the International Monetary Fund, has faced growing public anger at the relentless increase in prices since it came to power a year ago.

Prices of food staples like wheat, meat, pulses, onions, sugar, beans and potatoes, saw double-digit increases, with overall food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rising 7.9%.

In addition, there were sharp rises in energy and fuel prices, with gas prices up 143% from the previous year and petrol prices up 23%.

The squeeze in prices has come on the back of a sliding rupee currency which has lost almost a third of its value against the dollar over the past year, helping to drive up energy prices, despite government controls.

On Thursday, Khan ordered a rollback in increases to gas prices paid by operators of ovens used to make roti, a form of flat bread that is one of the staples of the Pakistani diet.

Roti prices have risen by almost 50%, in part because of the surge in the price of gas used in the ovens. (Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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