Cost of living rose by 6.0 per cent in Dhaka city in 2018 compared to that in 2017 due to rising prices of rice, fish, vegetables, toiletries, tea and other essentials, the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) has said in its latest study.
It said goods and services witnessed 5.19 per cent cost hike during the period under review.
The surge, however, was lower than that in 2017, when living expenditure witnessed 8.44 per cent, and goods and services 7.17 per cent more than in 2016, said the CAB study.
CAB President Ghulam Rahman presented the study at a press conference on ‘the condition of cost of living and consumers’ interest related other issues,’ held at Sagor-Runi Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital.
The report also pointed out that higher import tariffs have been hurting the consumers.
It said local consumers had to pay additional Tk 1.14 trillion (US $ 14.22 billion) for having an average 25.64 per cent import tariff on consumer goods, which is highest in the South and South-East Asia.
The study showed rice prices declined to the level of September 2017 last year, but overall cost for the staple food was 8.91 per cent higher.
Fish prices witnessed 13.5 per cent rise, vegetables 9.37 per cent and liquid milk 10.33 per cent.
Meat, tea, eggs, betel leaves and betel nuts, local clothes, foreign clothes, local sari, towels, coconut oil, DWASA supply water and house-rent also witnessed 3.0 to 10.64 per cent hike.
Cost of toiletries, like soap, witnessed highest surge of 20 per cent in 2018, said the CAB.
However, sugar, salt, pulses, garlic, green chilli and some other essentials’ prices witnessed a decline in the last calendar year, while prices of fossil fuel, electricity, gas, edible oil and powdered milk remained static.
CAB secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan, energy advisor Dr M Shamsul Alam, health advisor Dr Prof Mohammad Saiful Islam, were present, among others.