Morocco’s CPI cools to 1.3% y/y in February

By bne IntelliNews March 20, 2015

Falling transport costs and slower food price growth mitigated higher housing charges, cutting Morocco’s CPI inflation to 1.3% y/y in February from 1.6% y/y a month earlier, the statistics office HCP said on March 20. The reading bodes well with the central bank’s monetary easing seeking to boost GDP growth.

Morocco’s central bank cut in late December its benchmark interest rate by 25bp to 2.5% for the second straight time last year. The central bank expects the CPI inflation to quicken to a well subdued 1.2% in 2015 and 1.3% by Q1 2016. In 2014, the CPI inflation was a marginal 0.4%.

On a monthly basis, the CPI fell 0.4%, reversing a 0.3% m/m rise in January.

Food prices (45% of basket) dropped 1.1% m/m in February on favourable seasonal factors, reducing the annual growth to 1.7% from 2.1% y/y in January.

Prices of fresh vegetables dropped 7.5% m/m in February (up 7.1% m/m in January) and those of meat fell 0.5% m/m.

Housing prices (13% of basket), which include rents and utilities, increased 0.1% m/m lifting the annual growth to 5.0% in February from 4.9% y/y a month earlier.

Transport prices 3.8% y/y in February, deepening from a 2.8% annual contraction the month before. The prices of diesel, fuel oil and gasoline are now being reviewed twice a month depending on the crude oil prices on the international market. 

  Feb-14 (y/y) Feb-15 (m/m) Jan-15 (y/y) Feb-15 (y/y)
CPI  0,4% -0,4% 1,6% 1,3%
Food, non-alc drinks -1,1% -1,1% 2,1% 1,7%
Alcohol, tobacco 7,2% 0,2% 1,5% 1,7%
Clothing, footwear 2,6% -0,1% 0,8% 0,7%
Housing, utilities 1,3% 0,1% 4,9% 5,0%
Furnishings 0,6% 0,0% 0,7% 0,6%
Health 1,1% 0,1% -1,2% -1,2%
Transport 2,5% 0,2% -2,8% -3,8%
Communications -9,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,0%
Recreation, culture -1,0% 0,0% -0,4% 0,0%
Education 3,5% 0,0% 3,2% 3,2%
Restaurants, hotels 3,3% 0,1% 1,9% 2,0%
Other 1,6% 0,2% 0,4% 0,6%
         
Source:HCP        

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