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UPDATE 1-Bangladesh inflation picks up as food prices surge
October 4, 2016 / 11:02 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Bangladesh inflation picks up as food prices surge

(Adds detail)

DHAKA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s annual inflation picked up in September, driven by higher food prices, the planning minister said on Tuesday.

Consumer prices in September rose 5.53 percent from a year earlier, compared with a rise of 5.37 percent in August, Mustafa Kamal told a news conference.

Annual food inflation in September rose to 5.10 percent from 4.3 percent the previous month, while non-food inflation decreased to 6.19 percent from 7.0 percent.

A spike in prices of rice, spices and vegetables led to the surge in food inflation, a senior official at the Bureau of Statistics told Reuters.

Inflation could increase as prices of the staple rice keeps rising, the official added.

Average inflation came in at 5.92 percent in the 2015/16 financial year that ended in June, its lowest in 12 years, largely due to a sharp drop in global commodity prices and good agricultural output in the South Asian country of 160 million people.

The government aims to hold inflation at 5.80 percent this financial year.

Early this year, the central bank cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point for the first time in nearly three years as easing inflation gave it more room to manoeuvre to help spur economic growth. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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