Pakistan's headline inflation eased for the second month in a row in July, government data released Tuesday showed, but a fuel price hike announced overnight could see a fresh rise in August.

Year-on-year inflation was 28.3 percent compared with 29.4 percent in June, the Bureau of Statistics said in its monthly report, with food prices the driving factor.

Prices were up 3.5 percent month-on-month.

Inflation hit a record 38 percent in May but the central bank has kept the key interest rate at 22 percent in a bid to stabilise prices.

Years of financial mismanagement have pushed Pakistan's economy to the limit, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, a global energy crisis and record floods that submerged a third of the country last year.

But Islamabad struck a $3 billion standby deal with the International Monetary Fund last month that could provide temporary relief for the country's ballooning foreign debt.

The deal forces the government to scrap a range of subsidies that help the poor but the fuel price hike is largely in line with a rise in oil globally.