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UPDATE 1-Bangladesh inflation picks up as food prices surge
February 7, 2017 / 12:01 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Bangladesh inflation picks up as food prices surge

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DHAKA, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s annual inflation rate picked up again in January, fired up by food prices, the planning minister said on Tuesday, snapping a brief fall over the previous two months.

Consumer prices in January rose 5.15 percent from a year earlier, accelerating from a rise of 5.03 percent the previous month when it eased to its lowest since July 2012, the minister, Mustafa Kamal, said.

Annual food inflation in January quickened to 6.53 percent from 5.38 percent the previous month, while non-food inflation dropped to 3.10 percent from 4.49 percent.

A spike in prices of the staple rice led to the surge in food inflation, the minister told a news conference.

Average inflation was 5.92 percent in the previous financial year that ended in June 2016, the 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.

Last month, the central bank kept its key policy interest rates unchanged, citing overall macroeconomic stability and a steady inflation outlook.

In January 2016, 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 room to help spur economic growth. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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