5:16 pm - Monday May 24, 3345

Inflation picks up in March as food prices rise

Bangladesh’s annual inflation edged up in March, driven by an increase in the price of food items, the planning minister said on Tuesday.

Consumer prices in March were 5.65 percent higher than a year earlier, up from a rise of 5.62 percent in February when the figure hit a 41-month low, the minister, Mustafa Kamal, told a inflationnews conference.

Annual food inflation in March rose to 3.89 percent from 3.77 percent the previous month while non-food inflation decreased to 8.36 percent from 8.46 percent.

The government aims to hold inflation at 6 percent this fiscal year, which ends in June.

Inflation eased to 6.41 percent in the 2014/15 fiscal year, from 7.35 percent the previous year.

The rate is expected to remain stable in coming months as the government is set to cut oil prices to reflect the fall in global oil prices.

Early this year, the central bank cut its key interest rates by half a percentage point for the first time in nearly three years as cooling inflation gives it more manoeuvring room to help spur economic growth.

Earlier on Tuesday, the planning minister said Bangladesh’s economy grew 7.05 percent in the first three quarters of the financial year.

Courtesy: Reuters