Consumer prices rise by 3.8pc in April

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 17, 2017-

Consumer prices rose at a faster pace in April, as some of the food items and beverages, and non-food items such as clothes and footwear became expensive.

Inflation stood at 3.8 percent in April as against 2.9 percent in March, shows the latest Macroeconomic Report of the Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank.

Price hike in April was largely driven by rise in costs of non-food items. Prices of non-food items jumped 6.3 percent on average in the month, with education fee witnessing a surge of 10.2 percent.

Also, prices of clothes and footwear went up by 7.9 percent, while house rents and utility bills witnessed increment of 7.9 percent as well. Among other non-food items, furniture and household equipment became expensive by 5.8 percent.

Despite these hikes, prices of non-food items on average went up at a slower pace in April this year than in the same month a year ago. In April last year, prices of non-food items had surged by 10 percent on average, shows the NRB report.

In April last year overall inflation also hovered around 10 percent. Inflation has moderated since then because of “previous year’s base price effect and improved supply situation”, says the NRB report.

Consumer prices had skyrocketed last year because of trade blockade imposed by India.

The embargo, which continued from September 2015 to February 2016, choked supply of everything from daily essentials, petroleum products and raw materials, paving the way for unscrupulous traders to jack up prices sharply.

As a result, prices of goods and services had gone up by an average of 12.1 percent in January 2016.

Lately, inflationary pressure has continued to ease and is expected to remain subdued, according to the NRB.

Consumer prices have moderated largely because of a bumper harvest, which has cooled down food prices.

Prices of pulses and legumes, for instance, dropped by 10 percent in April, while

prices of vegetables came down by 9.7 percent in the month. April also saw

ghee and oil becoming cheaper by 3 percent and 0.3 percent reduction in prices of cereal grains.

However, prices of alcoholic drinks jumped by 13 percent in the month, while prices of sugar and products made of sugar surged by 13.9 percent.

Sugar has become expensive of late because of lower production of the commodity in Nepal and India. This recently created a short supply of the product in the domestic market.

Published: 17-05-2017 08:34

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