Inflation went down in May due to lower prices of some food items, including rice, reaching 5.26% on a point-to-point basis.
In April, inflation was 5.56%, while in May last year, it was 5.35%.
Revealing the figures at a press conference at the National Economic Council conference room in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on Tuesday, Planning Minister MA Mannan said non-food item prices were higher in May but food prices were lower.
But the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) said in its report that inflation in food prices came down 4.87% in May. Food inflation was 5.57% in April while it was 5.09% in May last year.
Non-food inflation rose to 5.86% in May from 5.55% in April. In May last year, it was 5.75%.
BBS Director General Mohammad Tajul Islam said overall inflation had gone down last month, especially because of the fall in prices of food items.
He said rice prices had declined compared to prices in the same month last year, adding that the rise and fall of inflation largely depend on rice prices.
Tajul further said, food inflation had gone down due to the fall in prices of some types of fish and vegetables in addition to rice.
Non-food item prices went up in May, although people did not shop much due to the Covid-19 lockdown, said the BBS official.
Transport fares as well as the price of clothes and haircutting tools were higher at the time, he added.
Professor Selim Raihan, executive director of the research firm South Asian Network on Economic Modeling, said there were questions about whether BBS inflation data reflected market conditions.
Prices of daily necessities are going up, he said.
Even if inflation falls slightly, it will not bring much relief to the people as their earnings have gone down due to various reasons, including the pandemic, he explained.
"There was a complete lockdown in May last year. People did not go out much and the supply of food items, including vegetables, also declined. People bought less. This could be a reason why food inflation fell," he said.