Tunisia’s CPI inflation accelerates to 4.6% y/y in October

By bne IntelliNews November 5, 2015

Soaring tobacco and clothing costs lifted Tunisia’s CPI inflation to a five-month high of 4.6% y/y in October from 4.2% y/y a month earlier despite slower food price growth, the statistics office INS said.

The print, albeit potentially a one-off hike, contradicts the central bank’s recent decision to reduce the benchmark interest rate by 50bp to 4.25%, seeking to reignite the tumbling GDP growth amid slowing CPI inflation and contracting industrial output.

In monthly terms, the CPI rose 1.0% in October, spiking from a 0.3% m/m increase the month before.

Excluding tobacco and clothing costs, the CPI inflation reached 4.3% y/y in October.

Food prices grew 0.6% m/m in October, trimming the annual expansion to 3.4% from 4.0% y/y in September.

Fresh vegetables grew 3.9% m/m during the month and those of fresh fruits rose 1.8% m/m. Fish costs, however, fell 0.7% m/m in October and those of poultry dropped 1.7%.

Housing and utilities prices (14% of the basket) ticked up just 0.1% m/m, cutting the annual rise to 5.4% from 5.5% y/y in September. Rents charges climbed 7.6% y/y in October while those of utilities edged up 0.2% on falling energy costs. Tobacco charges jumped 13.6% m/m and 14.1% y/y in October while those of alcohol grew 5.9% y/y. Education costs also rose 7.9% y/y ahead of the new academic year.

Transport prices edged flattened m/m during the month but rose 1.7% y/y.

    Oct-14 Aug-15 Sept-15 Oct-15
CPI (y/y)   5,4% 4,2% 4,2% 4,6%
Food/beverages   5,5% 3,7% 4,0% 3,4%
Tobacco   12,0% 0,3% 0,4% 14,1%
Clothing/Footwear   7,1% 6,4% 6,7% 7,3%
Housing/utilities   6,4% 5,8% 5,5% 5,4%
Furniture/equipments   4,8% 5,7% 5,9% 6,0%
Health   2,1% 3,4% 3,0% 3,1%
Transport   3,3% 1,5% 1,6% 1,7%
Communications   -2,3% -2,5% -2,4% -2,7%
Recreation/culture   3,9% 3,4% 3,1% 2,9%
Education   3,1% 4,8% 6,4% 7,9%
Rest/Hotels   10,4% 9,4% 8,5% 8,4%
Other serivces   5,8% 6,5% 6,6% 6,6%
Source: INS          

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