Bangladesh inflation rate rises to 7.41 pct y/y in November

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 08:10 hrs

DHAKA, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's annual rate of inflation rose in November due to surging food prices, ending a declining trend since February.

November's rate was 7.41 percent, up from 7.22 percent in October, the statistics office said on Thursday.

Food prices in November were 6.45 percent higher than a year earlier, an increase from October's on-year pace of 5.57 percent. In contrast, the non-food inflation pace fell to 9.31 percent in November from 10.46 percent the previous month.

A hike in prices of flour, pulses, fish, meat and spices contributed to the rise in food inflation, a Bureau of Statistics official said.

The inflation rate could rise further in coming months as the government, under pressure from the global lending agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, will raise oil prices soon.

Inflation is a major concern for the government, which faces an election in late 2013.

The central bank has kept its key policy rate unchanged since January, when it was raised for the fifth time since 2011.

Annual inflation in the financial year that ended in June accelerated to 10.62 percent from 8.80 percent the previous year. Non-food prices were the major contributor as the government, saddled with a huge subsidy bill for oil, raised fuel and power charges several times.

Bangladesh aims to trim inflation to 7.5 percent in the current fiscal year. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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