The non-food inflation ticked up to 6.48% in October – the highest in the last five years – thanks to a surge in demand owing to reopening of the economy, supply crunch, disrupted supply chain and depreciation of the taka, according to the latest data of state-run Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
The latest figure is 1.48% year-on-year high as it was 5% in the corresponding month last year. Earlier in September this year, non-food inflation was 6.19%. The country in August 2016 logged the highest 7% non-food inflation.
In October, food inflation rose to 5.22% from 5.21% in September. It was 7.34% in October last year.
According to the BBS report released on Monday, a spike in both non-food inflation and food inflation in October drove up the general inflation to 5.70% from September's 5.59%.
General inflation in October last year was recorded at 6.44%.
To gauge the non-food inflation, BBS records the price hikes in clothing, housing, and other household spending, while food inflation covers price spirals for staple rice, flour, sugar, fishes and eggs.
Dr Fahmida Khatun, executive director at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said price spirals of food and non-food items in the international market, depreciation of the taka leading to costlier imports and supply crunch contributed to October non-food inflation.
On swinging up food inflation, she said food supply in Bangladesh usually witnesses a crunch just before the winter leading to edging up food prices.
Other researchers and economists also attributed the release of pent-up demand by consumers causing a demand surge and disrupted supply chain owing to Covid funk to the general inflation spike.
BBS said October overall inflation in rural areas stood at 5.81%, up from 5.71% in September. The rate was 5.5% in urban areas, up from 5.25% in September.
Food inflation witnessed a downtrend to 5.62% from 5.74% in rural areas, but an uptick in urban areas to 4.31% from 4.03%. Non-food inflation saw an uptrend in both areas – to 6.17% from previous 5.84% in rural areas, and to 6.89% from 6.65% in urban areas.