Morocco’s CPI inflation accelerates to 1.6% y/y in March

By bne IntelliNews April 22, 2015

Morocco’s CPI inflation quickened to 1.6% y/y in March from 1.3% y/y a month earlier, on higher food price growth and a narrower deflation of transport costs, the statistics office HCP said. Housing costs also remained high in March, fuelling the overall price growth in Morocco. The reading, however, remains well anchored and bodes well with the central bank’s monetary easing seeking to boost GDP growth. In January-March, the CPI inflation averaged 1.5% y/y.

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 recorded zero growth, compared with a 0.4% m/m contraction in February.

Food prices (45% of basket) dropped 0.5% m/m in March on favourable seasonal factors but a low prior-year base lifted the annual growth to 2.1% from 1.7% y/y in February.

Prices of fresh vegetables dropped 5.5% m/m in March whereas those of fruits grew 2.5% m/m.

Housing prices (13% of basket), which include rents and utilities, flattened m/m in March, keeping the annual expansion also unchanged at 5.0%, the same as in February.

Transport prices shrank 2.1% y/y in March, narrowing from a 3.8% annual hike 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.

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


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