Food inflation in the country soared by 1.15 percentage points reaching to a 27-month high at 6.53 per cent in January from that of 5.38 per cent in December due mainly to the price hike of coarse rice in the kitchen market.
The previous highest inflation rate was 7.16 per cent in October 2014, according to the data of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
The country’s point-to-point inflation also increased to 5.15 per cent in the month which was 5.03 per cent in December.
Non-food inflation, however, declined significantly to 3.10 per cent in January compared with that of 4.49 per cent in the previous month.
Food inflation both in rural and urban areas also increased significantly in the month, the BBS data released on Tuesday showed.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the prices of coarse rice increased by 1.37 per cent and was being sold between Tk 36 and Tk 38 per kg at the country’s kitchen market.
The price of coarse rice was Tk 35 per kg a month ago.
‘Inflation increased in the month due to price hike of coarse rice and additional expenditure on school fees and books of children,’ planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said while releasing the inflation data at the post-ECNEC briefing held at NEC auditorium at Agargoan in Dhaka.
The point-to-point inflation always remains at increasing trend in January and February in the country as parents have to spend more on education of children in the months which is reflected in inflation, he said.
Officials of the BBS said that rice had the highest weight in inflation calculation as the item is the most consumed item as well as consumers have to spend more on the item.
So, an increase of Tk 1 a kilogram of rice put significant impact on overall inflation, they said.
Rural people suffer most due to increase in price of coarse rice which was reflected in rural food inflation which increased by 1.5 percentage points in January, they added.
According to the data, point-to-point inflation declined to 5.57 per cent in urban areas while increased to 4.92 per cent in rural areas in January.
In December, the point-to-point inflation was 6.07 per cent and 4.46 per cent in urban and rural areas respectively.
Food inflation in urban areas stood at 7.11 per cent in the month which was 6.74 per cent in December, the data showed.
In rural areas, food inflation rose to 6.28 per cent in January from 4.78 per cent in previous month.
Non-food inflation, however, dropped significantly in the month both in urban and rural areas to 3.91 per cent and 2.52 per cent respectively which were 5.35 per cent and 3.88 per cent respectively in urban and rural areas, the data showed.
According to the BBS, on monthly basis, the rate of food inflation increased by 1.03 per cent in January over December due to price hike of rice, fish, meat, vegetable oil, milk and milk products and other food items.
On the other hand, non-food inflation increased by 1.49 per cent due to rise of cost for clothes, energy and electricity, house rent, furniture and household items, medical service, transport and educational materials, the data showed.
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