Inflation slows to 7.39pc in Aug as commodity prices fall


Inflation slowed 0.46 percentage points to 7.39 percent in August, compared with the previous month, on the back of stability in food and non-food prices and sluggish economic activities.
Average inflation fell slightly last month because the taka remained stable against the dollar, said Zaid Bakht, research director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.
“Our imports from India were little bit cheaper due to the depreciation of the rupee. It has ultimately impacted the local market.”
The rupee, which sank to a record low of 68.845 on August 28, has weakened 16.8 percent this year, the worst performance after the South African rand among 24 emerging-market currencies.
On the other hand, the average exchange rate of the taka to the dollar yesterday was Tk 77.75, which has remained almost the same since June 30, according to statistics from Bangladesh Bank.
Apart from this, lower prices of some imported commodities helped contain food prices.
In August, except for onion, prices of cooking oil and pulse slipped, according to Department of Agricultural Marketing.
Food inflation stood at 8.09 percent, down from July’s 8.14 percent, while non-food inflation saw a fall of 1.05 percentage point to 6.35 percent.
Bakht said the prices of essentials normally go up during Ramadan, but it did not happen this year. “That has ultimately helped in stabilising the prices.”
“Though the onion prices went up last month, it did not impact the price basket,” said Golam Mostafa Kamal, director general of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
The inflation figures this time were arrived at following the new base year of 2005-06, which replaced 1995-96 as the base year, he added.

Source: The Daily Star


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