Tunisia’s CPI inflation cools to seven-month low of 5.2% y/y in November

By bne IntelliNews December 5, 2014

Slowing food and clothing price growth, coupled with falling telecoms costs, offset rising housing and restaurants prices, helping reduce Tunisia’s CPI inflation to seven-month low of 5.2% y/y in November from 5.4% y/y a month earlier, the statistics office INS said on December 5.

The strong harvest season will likely keep food prices anchored by end-2014 and the first quarter of next year, thus, accommodating the central bank cautious monetary stance by leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.75%.

In monthly terms, the CPI grew 0.4% in November, easing from a 0.6% m/m rise the previous month. In January-November, Tunisia’s CPI inflation rose 5.5% y/y, remaining the highest in North Africa excluding Egypt.

Food and beverages prices (33% of the basket) rose just 0.4% m/m in November, reducing the annual growth to 5.0% from 5.5% in October.

Meat costs grew 3.8% y/y (up 5.6% y/y in October) and those of edible oils rose 7.1% y/y (up 5.7% y/y in October). Vegetable costs rose 3.1% y/y while those of fish grew 8.1% y/y. Prices of dried fruits increased 11.4% y/y in November.

Housing and utilities prices (14% of the basket) edged up 0.2% m/m in November, keeping the annual increase at 6.4%, the same as the month before. Electricity, gas and fuel costs rose 10.1% y/y while those of water rose 7.5%, the same as the month before. Rent charges grew 4.6% y/y in November, easing from 4.7% y/y a month earlier.

Clothing and footwear prices rose 1.9% m/m in November, cutting the annual growth to 6.5% y/y from 7.1% y/y a month earlier.

On the other hand, transport charges (11.3% of the index) ticked up 0.1% m/m keeping the annual growth unchanged at 3.3% y/y, the same as in October. Restaurant and hotel charges climbed 10.8% y/y in November on strong local demand amid weak seasonal activity.

  Nov-13 (y/y) Nov-14 (m/m) Oct-14 (y/y) Nov-14 (y/y)
CPI  5,8% 0,4% 5,4% 5,2%
Food/beverages 7,8% 0,4% 5,5% 5,0%
Tobacco 0,0% 0,0% 12,0% 12,0%
Clothing/Footwear 7,2% 1,9% 7,1% 6,5%
Housing/utilities 5,1% 0,2% 6,4% 6,4%
Furniture/equipments 5,8% 0,6% 4,8% 5,1%
Health 2,0% 0,0% 2,1% 2,0%
Transport 5,4% 0,1% 3,3% 3,3%
Communications 0,1% 0,0% -2,3% -2,4%
Recreation/culture 2,9% -0,2% 3,9% 3,1%
Education 2,3% 0,0% 3,1% 3,1%
Rest/Hotels 6,3% 1,0% 10,4% 10,8%
Other serivces 4,5% 0,3% 5,8% 4,5%
Source: INS        

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