Inflation drops to 5.35pc in May despite corona crisis

Staff Correspondent

3 June, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the country’s overall inflation on point-to-point basis dropped to 5.35 percent last month from 5.96 percent in April thanks to falling prices of both food and non-food items. 

Planning Minister MA Mannan came up with the latest CPI inflation figures of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) at a press conference after the Ecnec meeting on Tuesday.

The global novel coronavirus pandemic prompted a government announced two months long countrywide shutdown from March 26, clogging most economic activities and intensifying prices of some essential food and non-food items.

While explaining the reason for a fall in inflation, Mannan said: “Even amid coronavirus crisis, our supply chain was running in pursuance of a directive given by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.” 

Besides, production of most agricultural products including rice and vegetables has been good, he noted.

“Because of a better supply chain amid the lockdown, farm produces have come both from southern and northern districts. As a result, some products have sold even at lower prices,” the minister pointed out.

In reply to a question, BBS director general Tajul Islam added that April month’s inflation was higher as inflation is calculated by collecting CPI data by first 12 to 18 days of any month.

He explained that there was a much stricter lockdown from March to mid of April, while the lockdown was eased after the period which has helped create a better supply chain also causing a fall in inflation.

BBS data suggest that monthly general inflation was recorded at 1.75 percent in the negative in May against 0.56 percent inflation in April. Consumer Price Index (CPI) also fell to 294.08 points from 303.39 points in April.

Meanwhile, food inflation slumped to 5.09 percent in May which was 5.91 percent in the month of April with a 3.07 percent negative monthly food inflation in May over April that saw 0.88 percent monthly food inflation.

Prices of rice, pulses, egg, vegetables, spice items like onion, ginger and garlic declined in May over their price levels one month ago, BBS said. . 

National non-food inflation also came down to 5.75 percent last month which was 6.04 percent in the previous month with 0.34 percent monthly non-food inflation.

Point-to-point general inflation in rural areas fell to 5.65 percent from 6.08 percent one month ago, while urban general inflation dropping from 5.73 percent to 4.81 percent.

Rural food inflation declined to 5.61 percent in May which was 6.17 percent in April, while urban food inflation slumped to 3.94 percent from 5.33 percent.

Rural non-food inflation modestly declined to 5.73 percent from 5.92 percent, while urban non-food inflation fell from 6.20 percent to 5.79 percent.

Annual moving average inflation during June 2019 to May 2020 stood at 5.61 percent which was lower at 5.48 percent during the corresponding period a year earlier.