Urban residents in Bangladesh suffered more than rural people in 2022 due to a rise in the cost of living amid elevated inflation, according to a report by the Consumers Association of Bangladesh.
Consumer prices reached the highest level in over a decade last year due to instability in the world market caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
According to the CAB report, the average inflation in 2022 was 11.8 percent with food inflation rising 10.3 percent and non-food inflation 12.32 percent. For low-income people, the rate of inflation was 9.3 percent on average.
The middle class was affected more by non-food inflation than food inflation in Dhaka, the CAB said in the report on Saturday.
A hike in prices of non-food items, such as electricity, soap, hygiene products, personal health items, mosquito coils, sprays, clothing and shoes and increased transportation costs are largely to blame for the surge in overall inflation.
People in rural areas suffered less because of social safety programmes.
Growing uncertainty and the global economic crisis due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the collapse of the global supply chain, the depletion of foreign exchange reserves and the devaluation of the taka against the dollar also fuelled inflation.
The government should focus more on easing pressure on low-income urban people by strengthening social security, said Mahfuz Kabir, research director of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies who presented the report on behalf of the CAB at a virtual press conference.