July wage growth drops to 5.82pc

BBS data shows inflation also falls to 5.53pc

Jasim Uddin | Published: 22:50, Aug 19,2020


Wage growth in July dropped to 5.82 per cent from 5.90 per cent in June as a result of declining wages in all three sectors — agriculture, industry and services— due to the fallout of coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Monthly wage of low-paid skilled and unskilled labour engaged in agriculture, industry and services dropped in the month, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics data.

WRI for agriculture declined to 6.15 per cent in July from 6.18 per cent in the previous month, the data released on Wednesday showed.

The wage index rates for industry and services also dropped to 5.18 per cent and 5.52 per cent respectively in the month from 5.31 per cent and 5.78 per cent in the previous month.

Workers from other sub-sectors like fish, construction and production also experienced the fall in income in the month, the BBS said in its monthly consumer price index (CPI), inflation rate and wage rate index (WRI) data.

Monthly wage rate index was 6.51 per cent in February, 6.46 in March, 6.10 in April and 5.89 in May this year.

The coronavirus outbreak began in the second week of March in Bangladesh.

On Tuesday, the Power and Participatory Research Centre and the BRAC Institute of Government Development in findings of a survey conducted by them jointly said that household income in June-July remained on average 42 per cent below the pre-COVID-19 level despite resumption of economic activities.

Urban slum dwellers experienced the highest income drop — 43 per cent — followed by rural people 41 per cent in June-July, they said.

The BBS, the sole statistical wing of the country, considers the monthly wages for specific 44 occupations, including 11 from the agriculture, 22 from the industry and 11 from the service sector, for calculation of the WRI.

The amount of money received either in cash or in kind in a day for standard daily working hours or earnings of low-paid labour who works on hourly basis is included as wage. Salary paid and high contract based earnings are excluded from the calculation of WRI.

According to the BBS data, the point-to-point inflation dropped by 0.49 percentage points to 5.53 per cent in July, the first month of the current fiscal year 2020-2021, from that of 6.02 per cent in June mainly due to a decline in the food inflation.

The food inflation declined to 5.70 per cent in July from 6.54 per cent a month ago while the non-food inflation increased to 5.28 per cent in the month from 5.22 per cent in June.

The average retail prices of rice, pulse, onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger and salt in the Dhaka city declined while prices of eggs and soya bean oil increased in July, the BBS data showed.

The average annual inflation stood at 5.65 per cent in the last fiscal year of 2019-2020 ended on June.

The point-to-point inflation in June had increased to 6.02 per cent from 5.35 per cent in May due mainly to the coronavirus outbreak-induced price hike of essential food items.

According to the BBS data, both the general and food inflation decreased in both the urban and rural areas in July from the previous month.

The non-food inflation in urban areas increased in July although in rural areas, the non-food inflation came down.

In July, the general, food and non-food inflation in urban areas stood at 5.72per cent, 5.76 per cent and 5.68 per cent respectively, which were 6.03 per cent, 6.72 per cent and 5.27 per cent respectively in the previous month.

The overall, food and non-food inflation in rural areas stood at 5.43 per cent, 5.67 per cent and 4.98 per cent respectively in July. In June, the rates of general, food and non-food inflation in rural areas were 6.02 per cent, 6.47 per cent and 5.18 per cent respectively.

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