Inflation drops in Feb

Minister warns of price hike on coronavirus impact

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:18, Mar 03,2020


Point-to-point inflation slightly declined in February to 5.46 from that of 5.57 per cent in January as both food and non-food inflations eased in the month, data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics showed.

Food inflation dropped to 4.97 per cent in February from 5.12 per cent a month ago, the data released on Tuesday revealed.

Non-food inflation eased to 6.23 per cent in the month from that of 6.30 per cent in January when it hit a 40-month high on cost escalation for house rent and education materials.

Planning minister MA Mannan at a press briefing after the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council meeting said that overall inflation declined on the easing of prices of food and non-food items in February.

He, however, showed apprehension that inflation might rise following possible disruptions in the import and supply of goods from China due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

He said that a shortage in product supply as part of the impacts of the epidemic might cause inflation to rise.

Global trade and businesses are being affected due to the outbreak, he said, adding that it might also disrupt Bangladesh’s import of raw materials.

According to the BBS data, prices of vegetables and spices such as onion,  garlic and ginger, dropped in February compared with those of the previous month.

Point-to-point inflation, food and non-food inflations both in urban and rural areas also came down in February from the levels reported in the previous month.

In the urban areas, general inflation stood at 5.48 per cent in February, declining from 5.67 per cent a month back.

Food and non-food inflations dropped to 4.70 per cent and 6.36 per cent respectively in the areas in February while they amounted to 5.03 per cent and 6.41 per cent respectively in January.

General inflation in rural areas also fell to 5.44 per cent in the month from 5.52 per cent in January.

Food and non-food inflations stood at 5.09 per cent and 6.12 per cent in February, declining from 5.16 per cent and 6.22 per cent respectively in the previous month.

According to the data, the national wage index rate also dropped to 5.51 per cent in February from 6.56 per cent in January as a result of falling wages in the agriculture sector.

Wage index rates for industry and services, however, rose slightly in the month.

Wage index rate for agriculture decreased to 6.65 per cent in the month from 6.74 per cent in January.

On the other hand, wage index rates for industry and services increased to 6.15 per cent and 6.53 per cent respectively in February from that of 6.14 per cent and 6.52 per cent respectively in January.

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