December's inflation rate was 7.35 percent, up from 7.15 percent in November, the statistics office said on Tuesday.

The ruling party won a violence-plagued parliamentary election whose outcome was never in doubt after a boycott by the main Opposition party.

However, the impasse between the two major parties is fuelling worries of economic stagnation and further violence in the impoverished South Asian nation of 160 million.

Officials fear inflation could go even higher this month as the unrest has shown no signs of abating since Sunday's poll.

Seven people were killed on Monday, a truck driver was burnt to death on Tuesday and a 48-hour strike called by the Opposition is under way.

"There is no surprise if inflation keeps climbing until an inclusive election takes place," said a senior official at the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, , requesting anonymity.

Food prices in December were 9.00 percent higher than a year earlier, an increase from November's 8.55 percent pace. In contrast, the non-food inflation rate eased slightly to 4.88 percent in December from 5.08 percent the previous month.

Food inflation in urban areas hit 9.89 percent in December, while it stood at 4.69 percent in rural areas.

Economic growth is expected to slow to less than 6 percent in the year to June 2014 from 6 percent the previous year as political uncertainty takes a toll.


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