A new report by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) says consumer prices rose by 12.9 percent in the past 10 months of the current fiscal year, compared to 9.2 percent in the same period last year thanks to pressure from rising food and beverages prices.
"The inflation, in the review period, was driven mainly by 16.5 percent rise in food and beverages group," the national money-market regulator Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) said in its report. Of the items in the food and beverage group, prices of sugar and sugar-related products increased by a stunning 66.9 percent, in which there was 0.5 percent decline last year.
The central bank report further said, rising price indices of vegetables and fruits which topped 33.5 percent and 27.5 percent, and increment in prices of meat, fish and eggs also contributed to a higher inflation rate. During the period, the indices of pulses and the subgroup of grains and cereal products also rose 26.3 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
Besides inflation, the year-on-year salary and wage rate index also rose 21.1 percent in the 10-month period compared to 7 percent in the same period last year.
Overall balance of payment (BOP) posted a significant surplus of Rs 43.10 billion compared to Rs 19.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year. Simultaneously, the current account also recorded a huge surplus of Rs 37 billion in the review period, the report said adding, this was largely due to 55.5 percent hike in workers┬┤ remittances and 28.4 percent increment in grants. Workers┬┤ remittances stood at Rs 169.17 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.
Similarly, country┬┤s foreign exchange reserve posted a healthy 33.3 percent growth (Rs 283.4 billion) in the review period. On the basis of the US currency, gross foreign exchange reserves rose 15.4 percent to US$ 3.6 billion in the 10-month period.
Exports went up by 19.8 percent and imports increased by 25.4 percent whereby country faced trade deficit by 27.4 percent more in the review period. According to NRB, exports rose in the 10-month period due to surge in overseas supply of readymade garments, textile, GI pipe, catechu, handicraft products and toothpaste, while imports surged due to rise in imports of machinery and parts, vehicles and spare parts, cold-rolled sheet in coil, cement, medicine, gold, electricals, MS billet and crude soybean oil, among others. nepalnews.com