Inflation sharply increased in November and stood at its highest point within the last 26 months due to rising food prices.
The point-to-point inflation rose by 0.58 percentage point in November to 6.05 percent, compared to the previous month's.
Quoting a report, Planning Minister MA Mannan said this at a press conference on Tuesday after the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting in Dhaka, adding, "The inflation rate increased due to rising prices of onion, rice, vegetables and some other food items."
The price of onion has witnessed an upward trend for more than two months and the price of rice has also been increasing.
The inflation rate in November stood at 6.05 percent, while it was 5.47 percent in October this year and 5.91 percent in November last year, according to a Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) report.
The BBS report further showed that the food inflation on point-to-point basis stood at 6.41 percent in November, compared to 5.49 percent in the previous month. The non-food inflation stood at 5.47 percent in November, slightly rising from 5.45 percent in October.
The BBS data also revealed that the point-to-point inflation rate both in rural and urban areas increased in November.
Rural areas observed the inflation rate of 6.01 percent in November, which was 5.36 percent in October. Rural inflation on food stood at 6.54 percent in November, which was 5.56 percent in October.
Rural non-food inflation increased to 4.99 percent, which was 4.96 percent in October.
In urban areas, the inflation rate on point-to-point basis stood at 6.12 percent in November, which was 5.67 percent in October. Urban inflation on food stood at 6.11 percent in November, which was 5.31 percent in October. Urban non-food inflation increased to 6.13 percent, which was 6.09 percent in October.
Moving average of inflation for the last 12 months dropped to 5.56 percent from 5.59 percent of the previous 12 months. Average inflation is now slightly higher than budgetary target of the government 5.5 percent.
The BBS calculates Consumer Price Index every month to find the rate of inflation, which shows the degree of average increase in the cost of living standard over the last one year.
The November inflation rate of 6.05 percent indicates that a commodity will now cost Tk106.05 which was Tk100 last year, and one will have to buy a lower volume of the commodity if one's income remains static.
However, the rate of wage increase reached 6.42 percent in November than that of the previous year, mentioned the BBS report.
Time series data of the BBS said point-to-point inflation was 6.12 percent in September 2017 and dropped to 6.04 percent in the following month.
In the last 26 months, inflation came down to its lowest point in December last year at 5.35 percent, and since then it had been rising moderately. But the inflation rate jumped sharply in November this year.
Mustafa K Mujeri, former director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, said, "Due to the recent increase in the prices of onion and rice, the inflation has gone up. It is negatively impacting the people of the lower income group."
"The supply management of food and agricultural products in Bangladesh is weak, and this issue must be resolved to control the market," he added.