ISLAMABAD: Consumer inflation dropped to 9.7% in the month of June due to improved checks in the prices of food and fuel, according to official data released on Thursday. On an annual basis, inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 8.9% for the recently concluded 2021 fiscal year, compared to a 10.74% in FY2020 and 6.8% in FY2019. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said CPI inflation decreased 0.2 percent month-on-month in June 2021 compared to an increase of 0.1 percent in the previous month and an increase of 0.8 percent in June 2020. Prices of perishable foods came down year-on-year and month-on-month as compared to non-perishable items whose prices increased. Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has maintained its inflation estimate for FY2021 in the 7-9% range. It expects inflation to gradually fall to 5-7% over the medium-term. The SBP expects the benchmark interest rate to be kept at 7% in the near term, and has said any adjustments to the benchmark rate are to be measured and gradual to achieve mildly positive real interest rates over time. Analysts are awaiting for the next interest rate move of the central bank in July. Meanwhile, YoY CPI Urban inflation was recorded at 9.7% in June as compared to 10.8% in the previous month and 7.6% in June 2020. Likewise, YoY CPI Rural inflation was recorded at 9.7% in June as compared to 10.9% in the previous month and 10% in June 2020.