The caretaker federal government appears poised to maintain the status quo with petroleum prices in the initial half of January 2024.
Factors at Play
Little flux has been observed in the exchange rate since December 15, and international oil prices have, for the most part, held steady within a narrow range. While a slight shift remains a possibility, indicators suggest a higher likelihood of price retention.
At the last fortnightly review on December 15, noteworthy reductions were made. Petrol saw a decrease of Rs. 14 per liter, and high-speed diesel experienced a cut of Rs. 13.50 per liter. The prices of kerosene and light diesel oil also witnessed reductions, standing at Rs. 10.14 and Rs. 11.29 per liter, respectively.
Persisting High Prices
Throughout the current fiscal year, petroleum prices in Pakistan have maintained an elevated stance. Data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reveals a negative growth of 16.19 percent in petroleum group imports during the first five months (July-November) of FY24.
Outlook and Economic Challenges
Despite the economic challenges, business confidence has exhibited a notable increase of 42%, as reported recently. This surge in confidence is noteworthy against the backdrop of the persistent challenges faced by the economy.
In conclusion, as January 2024 approaches, the likelihood of stable petroleum prices prevails. Stay tuned for updates on this front as the caretaker federal government navigates through the economic landscape in the coming fortnight.