The Sensitive Price Indicator-based weekly inflation for the week ended on October 15, for the combined consumption group, witnessed increase of 0.45 percent as compared to the previous week. The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 141.36 points against 140.73 points registered in the previous week, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined consumption group in the week under review witnessed an increase of 9.20 percent. The weekly SPI with base year 2015-16=100 is covering 17 urban centers and 51 essential items for all expenditure groups. The Sensitive Price Indicator for the lowest consumption group up to Rs17,732 witnessed 1.56 percent increase and went up from 148.78 points in last week to 149.76 points during the week under review. Meanwhile, the SPI for the consumption groups from Rs17,732-22,888, Rs22,889-29,517; Rs29,518-44,175; Rs29,518 to Rs44,175 and above Rs 44,175 per month also increased by 0. 28 percent, 0.42, percent; 0.52 percent and 0.50 percent respectively. During the week, prices of 09 items decreased, 25 items increased while that of 17 items remained constant. The items, which recorded decrease in their average prices, included bananas, onions, electricity charges, potatoes, garlic, moong pulse, masoor pulse, gur and gram pulse. The commodities, which recorded increase in their average prices, included chicken, eggs, tomatoes, LPG Cylinder, sugar, match box, cooked beef, washing soap, cooked daal, mash pulse, rice (Irri-6/9), energy saver, milk (fresh), wehat flour, vegetable ghee, mustard oil, rice (Basmati broken), tea (packet), tea (prepared), cooking oil (loose), long cloth, curd and beef. Similarly, the prices of the commodities that observed no change during the week under review included bread, mutton, salt, chillies, cigarettes, shirting, lawn, georgette, gents sandal, ladies sandal, gas charges, firewood, petrol, diesel, telephone call and toilet soap. Meanwhile, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mian Anjum Nisar on Saturday warned the authorities that inflation above 6 percent can hurt economic growth in the country in post-corona slowdown and a careful strategy is required to keep it in control. In a statement issued here, Mian Anjum Nisar said that Pakistan inflation reaches over 9 percent in September against stable annual inflation rate of 1.2 percent across the world amidst dropping food and energy rates, calling for putting the economy on a balanced and sustainable growth trajectory, addressing the underlying structural vulnerabilities, as low export growth, limited foreign exchange reserves, documentation of economy and higher food inflation are still major challenges to the economy. The FPCCI President said that there is a consensus that a low inflation rate helps economic activities, while high inflation hurts economic growth. The high inflation environment affects decision making of all economic agents in economy, like investors, savers, consumers and producers through uncertainty about the expected payoffs from their decisions. Moreover, a persistently high inflation also causes erosion of the value of the local currency in terms of foreign currencies. Such uncertainties, in turn, have adverse implications for economic activities. Mian Anjum Nisar said low inflation helps economic agents to predict outcome of their economic decisions with fair level of certainty. Especially, producers follow their plans for business expansion with more confidence; and new investment is undertaken in the expectation of predictable returns. He stressed the need for building on gains on the ease of doing business front, which requires not just the capacity development in key public institutions, but also a continuous dialogue with relevant stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation, he added. He said that owing to low unit prices, exports growth remained low. Terming inflation a serious threat to economy, FPCCI President urged the government to come up with out-of-the-box solution to expedite economic activities in the country. Mian Anjum Nisar lamented that regular increase in oil, gas, power rates and rupee devaluation was posing threat to all sectors besides making life of common man miserable. He said that inflation measured through consumer price index (CPI) surged to 9.2 percent last month. Over the past three months, he said, prices of fresh vegetables, fruits and meat have increased massively while average inflation during the January witnessed 12-year high at 14.6 per cent this year-the highest inflation not only in comparison with the developed economies but also with emerging economies. The most dominating push to inflation came from non-food-non-energy (core inflation) component that typically represents the underlying demand pressures on the economy. The core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 8.5 percent year-on-year. It has been steadily rising for a couple of months despite tightening of the monetary policy.