Inflation drops to 5.46% in February, but may rise for supply disruption

The Business Standard | 03 March, 2020
Food prices may rise in the future due to supply distortion for the coronavirus outbreak

Overall inflation dropped by 0.11 percentage points to stand at 5.46 percent in February this year, thanks to easing food prices.

But Planning Minister MA Mannan expressed concern on Tuesday about the possibility of the price of goods increasing in the near future due to supply chain disruption by the coronavirus outbreak.

“We produce goods using raw material from other countries. World trade is being affected by the virus so we will be affected too,” he added.

Inflation was 5.57 percent in January.

Vegetables such as potatoes, eggplants, beans, sweet pumpkins, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, red leaf and radish were cheaper in February.

The price of onions, garlic and ginger have also dropped, according to the latest report of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

Presenting the report at a press briefing on Tuesday, the planning minister said inflation was expected to rise as this is the season for weddings, picnics and other festivals, but instead it has dropped.

“The supply of winter vegetables was adequate and there were no issues over supply of other products either,” he added.

According to the BBS report, inflation in February last year was 5.47 percent.

At the national level, the inflation in food products dropped to 4.97 percent in February from 5.12 percent in January this year.

Inflation for non-food products also dropped to 6.23 percent, down from 6.30 percent in January.

The BBS report said rural areas of the country faced 5.44 percent inflation in February, slightly down from the previous month.

The price of food items increased by 5.09 percent and non-food items by 6.12 percent in February in rural areas.

Inflation dropped to 5.48 percent in February from 5.67 percent in January in urban areas.

Food inflation dropped to 4.70 percent and non-food inflation dropped to 6.36 percent in the last month in urban area.

The BBS calculates a Consumer Price Index every month to find the rate of inflation, which shows the degree of average increase in the cost of living standards over the last one year.

The February inflation rate of 5.46 percent indicates that a commodity, which was Tk100 last year, will now cost Tk105.46. One will have to buy a smaller amount of the commodity if one’s income remains static.

Meanwhile, wages increased by 6.51 percent in February compared to that in the same period the previous year, said the BBS report.


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