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)|
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