The country's inflation rate fell to 5.72 per cent on a point to point basis in February from 6.59 per cent in January, official figures show.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the national inflation rate which was 7.98 per cent in last August, highest in a decade, came down to 7.07 per cent in December 2005.
In January 2006, the rate further decreased to 6.59 per cent and 5.72 per cent in February.
Noted economist Muzaffar Ahmed, however, said the BBS estimate of inflation rate is possibly not correct when the prices of essentials have been skyrocketing since last December.
How will the inflation drop when the prices of weighted products such as rice, sugar, baby foods and transport cost have not decreased at all since last December? Ahmed questioned.
According to weekly market report published in the FE, the prices of baby food, rice and sugar increased by at least 15-20 per cent, five per cent and 22.22 per cent respectively in February compared to those in December.
Experts noted that inflation rate would rise due to devaluation of local currency against US dollar by around three per cent alone in February.
The BBS officials noted that tight monetary policy by the central bank and availability of winter vegetables at cheaper prices contributed to the fall in inflation rate despite price hike of several products in the local and international markets.
Multilateral lending agencies, including the World Bank, often raise questions about the methodology of the BBS that follows 1995-96=100 as a base year while calculating inflation rate and other price indicators.
They have suggested the government to bring about changes in base year and widen the products basket.
The BBS officials said in food item, consumer price index (CPI) dropped by 1.27 per cent to 5.4 per cent and in non-food item, the same declined by 0.42 per cent to 6.28 per cent in February.
The price rises for food and non-food items were 6.67 per cent and 6.28 per cent respectively in January, they added.
Inflation rate in urban area stood at 5.67 per cent in February, which declined by 0.46 per cent from 6.13 per cent in January.
The inflation rate in rural area has been estimated at 5.67 per cent in February against 6.77 per cent in January.