Pandemic cuts annual inflation rate to 5.21pc in October 2020

The annual rate of inflation in Myanmar, based on the Consumer Price Index, continued dropping to 5.21 percent in October 2020 as consumer price fell amid the COVID-19 impacts, according to the inflation report released by the Central Statistical Organization, under the Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Industry. There was a slump in consumer demand triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. As a result of this, the annual inflation rate extended its drop in October 2020, as per the report.

The US dollar against Kyat is relatively weak in October, with a fall of about K20 than the previous month and a sharp drop of K214 against a year-ago period. The imported oil price dropped against September’s rate, causing the price index in the transport group to slump, the inflation report showed. Despite the drop registered in food price, the CPI showed an uptick in household goods and maintenance, other commodities, clothing, recreation, culture, and non-food. The price index of education and telecommunication is stable amid the COVID-19. The price of transport and tobacco and beverages dropped, the report stated. The annual rate of core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was 4.22 percent in October 2020. The year on year inflation rate stood at 1.5 percent in October, the inflation data indicated.

During the one year from October 2019 to October 2020, the inflation rate hit a high of 9.20 percent in February 2020. Despite the drop in fuel oil price and gain in the local currency, the power tariff hike led to a higher inflation rate up to 9.2 percent in February 2020. Then, it gradually declined due to the coronavirus outbreak in March. The inflation rate was registered at 8.35 percent in May 2020, and so, the month of June with 7.91 percent. The coronavirus impacts triggered the drop in the consumer price index, and it gradually inclined to 7.14 percent in July, and the rate extended its slide to 6.43 percent in August. It continued slipping to 5.81 percent in September 2020 and 5.21 percent in October 2020.

In October, Ayeyawady Region recorded the highest inflation rate at 9.99 percent, followed by Mandalay Region at 8.52 percent, and Nay Pyi Taw at 7.14 percent. The rate fluctuated with a maximum rate of 5.04 percent in Ayeyawady and a minimum rate of — 2.8 percent in Sagaing Region. Earlier, the inflation rate was calculated based on a 2006 survey. The base year was later changed to 2012. The Central Statistical Organization conducted a Household Income and Expenditure Survey in 82 townships in November 2012. The concerned authorities have been making efforts, to reduce the inflation rate, based on policies on finance, currency, trade, and foreign currency control, in keeping with the second five-year National Development Plan (2016-2017FY-2020-2021FY). — Htet Myat (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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