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
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)