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Bank & Finance - June 5, 2023

Inflation surges 9.94pc in May

Highest in a decade

Staff Correspondent: Consumer prices surged 9.94 percent in May, after slowing slightly in April, according to data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
Driven by food inflation of 9.24 percent and non-food inflation of 9.96 percent, the rate in May was the highest year-on-year rise in consumer prices in a decade.
Bangladesh’s inflation had hit 9.33 percent in March before easing slightly to 9.24 percent in April. It neared double digits once again in May.
Inflationary pressure was slightly higher in urban areas (9.97 percent) than in rural areas (9.85 percent).
In the budget for 2023-24, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal targeted an average inflation rate of 6 percent, which many saw as extremely optimistic. It was even described as such by a cabinet colleague, Planning Minister MA Mannan.
Bringing the rate down to 6 percent from the current level is “going to be very difficult, if not impossible”, Mannan said.
“It could be very, very tough.”
He had advised Bangladeshis to tighten their belts, spend less, and cut out waste as they prepare for a ‘difficult period’.

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