Non-food inflation hits record in MarchStaff Correspondent
Food inflation declines further
The country’s non-food inflation reached a record high of 13.96 per cent in March, although the point-to-point headline inflation further declined to 10.10 per cent because of a drop in food inflation.
Despite a decrease in overall and food inflations, non-food inflation increased mainly due to a price hike of clothes, furniture, household items, and medical and transport costs, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics director general Shajahan Ali Mollah told reporters at a briefing on Thursday.
He said that non-food inflation was the highest in March after the introduction of the current base-year of 1995-96 to determine inflation.
However, the BBS officials could not say the highest non-food inflation rate of earlier base year.
Non-food inflation in February was 13.57 per cent.
The overall or headline inflation came down to 10.10 per cent in March
from 10.43 per cent in
February as food inflation in the month declined further to 8.28 per cent from 8.92 per cent in the previous month.
The point-to-point inflation has come down thanks mainly to a sharp decline in prices of food items, bumper production of rice and continuing of open market sales (OMS) programme by the government, Shahjahan said.
The BBS chief said that though the point-to-point inflation has come down with food inflation in March, the non-food inflation was still on the rise.
However, the trend is not significant compared to other countries, he added.
Shahjahan said a price fall of the country’s major food items, including rice, pulses and edible oil pulled down food inflation.
A bumper aman harvest and food price plunge
on the international market and the government’s open market sales programme were the prime factors
that brought about the fall in food inflation in March, he said.
Besides, according to the BBS data, in rural areas overall inflation decreased in March to 9.40 per cent from 9.79 per cent in February and food inflation to 7.21 per cent from 8.05 per cent, but non-food inflation increased to 14.17 per cent in March from 13.57 in February.
In comparison, overall inflation in urban areas also declined from 12.06 per cent in February to 11.89 per cent in March, food inflation from 10.96 per cent to 10.80 per cent and non-food inflation from 13.59 per cent to 13.42 per cent.
However, the overall inflation in March increased by 0.39 percentage point compared to the previous month.
Food and non-food
inflation also rose to 0.30 percentage point and
0.59 percentage point
respectively compared to February, the BBS data showed.
The BBS director general said that food inflation witnessed a rise in March compared to February due to price hike in fish, meat, eggs, milk, soft drinks and other food items and price hike in clothes, furniture, household and laundry items, and medical and transport costs impacted non-food inflation.
He said that the BBS would determine the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from next month considering 2005-06 as new base year instead of the existing base year 1995-96.
The BBS data showed the average inflation in last one year from April 2011 to March 2012 was 10.92 per cent compared to that of 8.36 per cent in the previous year from April 2010 to March 2011.
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