Inflation up in Feb after 7 months amid unrest

A file photo shows traders examining the extent of damage to their vegetables on a truck that was bombed during the non-stop countrywide blockade programme called by the BNP-led alliance in Bogra. Overall point-to-point inflation increased marginally by 0.10 percentage points in February and stood at 6.14 per cent from 6.04 per cent in January, mainly due to spiralling prices of food and non-food items. — Focusbangla photo

Overall point-to-point inflation increased marginally by 0.10 percentage points in February and stood at 6.14 per cent from 6.04 per cent in January, mainly due to spiraling prices of food and non-food items, according to data of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. Officials of the BBS said that inflation rose in February because of the ongoing indefinite blockade and frequent hartals imposed by the BNP-led opposition parties that hampered transportation of goods. Point-to-point inflation in February took an upward trend for the first time in the current fiscal year of 2014-15, after falling seven months in a row. The country started the current fiscal year with an average 7.35 per cent point-to-point inflation in last year. According to the BBS data, the overall point-to-point inflation still stands at 26-month low since October 2012 when inflation rate was 5.86 per cent despite an increase in February. In the month, food and non-food inflation also rose to 6.11 per cent and 6.20 per cent respectively as against its figures of 6.07 per cent and 6.01 per cent respectively in the previous month, the data showed. Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday released the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) containing inflation details at a press briefing after the meeting of the National Economic Council held at the NEC conference room at the planning ministry in the capital. ‘Point-to-point inflation increased in February on additional expenditure in non-food items,’ he said. In February, people had to spend more money as house rent and children’s school fees and admission costs, he said. According to the BBS data, the overall inflation in both the urban and rural areas also increased in February and stood at 6.62 per cent and 5.89 per cent respectively. In January, the rate of inflation in urban and rural areas was 6.48 per cent and 5.81 per cent respectively, the data showed. In February, food inflation in rural areas stood at 5.72 per cent, slightly down from 5.79 per cent in the previous month while non-food inflation increased to 6.22 per cent from 5.84 per cent in January. In urban areas the food inflation stood at 7.02 per cent in the month, up from 6.69 per cent in January while non-food inflation witnessed downward trend and stood at 6.18 per cent in February which was 6.25 per cent in the previous month, according to the data. The rate of food inflation, on monthly basis, increased by 0.28 per cent in February compared with that of January mainly due to rise in the prices of fish, meat, fruit, spices, milk and milk products, and tobacco products. On the other hand, non-food inflation rate, on monthly basis, also increased by 0.32 per cent in the months compared with that of January due to increase in cost for clothes, house rent, furniture and house hold items, cost for medical care, transport and educational materials. The average year to year rate of inflation from March 2014 to February 2015 also rose to 6.76 per cent compared to 7.57 per cent from March 2013 to February 2014.

Source: New Age