July 23, 2024, 11:07 am

Inflation rises to 9.89pc in May, highest in 7 months

  • Update Time : Monday, June 3, 2024
  • 32 Time View
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Three days before the announcement of the national budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, one geared towards fighting rising prices, inflation has already risen to 9.89% in May from 9.74% in April, the highest in the past seven months.

The data revealed by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics today (3 June) reinforces the need for what State Minister for Finance Waseqa Ayesha Khan said just a few days ago: curbing inflation would be the top priority.

For 11 months of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh has been grappling with an inflation above 9%.

Earlier on 17 January, Bangladesh in its monetary policy statement revised up its inflation target from 6% to 7.5% in response to prices persistently staying high.

In October last year, the inflation was 9.93%.

Meanwhile, food inflation has surged by 54 basis points to 10.76% in May from 10.22% in April, while non-food inflation slipped 15 basis points to 9.19% from 9.34% in April.

Food inflation has been in the double digits in the last two months. In November last year, it was 10.76%, which dipped to below 10% in December.

In March, the actual food inflation in Bangladesh stood at 15%, contrasting sharply with the 9.87% figure reported by the BBS, said Binayak Sen, director general of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

Speaking to this correspondent, Towfiqul Islam Khan, senior research fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said there were many questions about the inflation data that was being provided.

“The rate may be higher for low-income people. When food inflation is high, low-income groups are more disadvantaged. Because of this, food is very important in their consumption basket,” he said.

On the causes of inflation, he identified economic issues, such as disruption of production and weaknesses related to governance such as poor market regulation.

He said the government has taken initiatives to reduce inflation through monetary policy.

“But controlling inflation through monetary policy takes time. Monetary policy does not affect inflation quickly. Tax exemptions should be given importance. At the same time ensuring good governance in the market and tackling market manipulation should be focused on,” he said.




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