Inflation rises to 5.55pc in March

Staff Correspondent

10 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Overall inflation on a point-to-point basis edged up to 5.55 per cent in March from 5.47 per cent in February thanks to soaring food prices.  

Inflation rose for the third consecutive month after witnessing a falling trend in the previous October-December quarter, suggests the latest data of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

Consumer price index (CPI) went up to 262.45 points last month which was 261.36 points in the previous month. 

Overall monthly inflation was recorded at 0.42 per cent for March over the February’s level that had fallen by 0.08 per cent.

Planning Minister MA Mannan unveiled the CPI data of BBS at a press conference on Tuesday, where BBS director-general Dr Krishna Gayen was present.  

“Inflation rose last month mainly because of a rising trend in food inflation, although non-food inflation eased last month,” Dr Gayen told reporters.

MA Mannan pointed out that the rise in food items’ prices like chicken and vegetables were the main reasons for the rise in inflation rate.

In January, point-to-point inflation was 5.42 per cent and in February it was 5.47 per cent.

A declining trend was found from October to December with 5.40 per cent, 5.37 per cent and 5.35 per cent rates respectively.

In March, food inflation inched up year-on-year to 5.72 per cent with 0.64 per cent monthly inflation, which was 5.44 per cent one month ago when monthly food prices were in the negative territory by 0.19 per cent.

BBS listed price hike for food items like fish, meat, vegetables, edible oil, fruit and other items last month. 

Non-food inflation, on the other hand, slipped to 5.29 per cent which was 5.51 per cent in February even though on a monthly basis it modestly rose by 0.06 per cent.

Non-food items such as clothing, medicare, transport

and some other items also witnessed monthly cost hike in March over that in February.

Although remaining low, rural general inflation rate saw a faster gain to 5.38 per cent from 5.26 per cent in contrast to urban inflation gaining from 5.85 per cent to 5.86 per cent in March.

Rural food inflation soared from 5.48 per cent to 5.80 per cent, while urban food inflation rose from 5.38 per cent to 5.52 per cent.

Monthly food inflation was recorded at 0.67 per cent in March for rural area and 0.57 per cent for urban areas.

Rural non-food inflation eased to 4.58 per cent which was 4.86 per cent a month earlier, while urban non-food inflation declined to 6.24 per cent from 6.39 per cent.

Average annual inflation was recorded from April 2018 to March 2019 period at 5.48 per cent, down from 5.82 per cent posted in the previous corresponding period.

Meanwhile, the national general wage rare increased year-on-year by 6.56 per cent in March. The wage increase rate was 6.48 per cent in February.