Lower food and transport prices, mitigated rising clothing, tobacco and housing costs, thus keeping Tunisia’s CPI inflation at a six-month high of 5.7% y/y in April, the same as month earlier, the statistics office INS said.
The reading remains the highest in North Africa excluding Egypt. The central bank, however, assesses that core inflation is easing and consequently remains focused on spurring economic activity by leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.75%.
In monthly terms, the CPI, however, grew 0.6% in April, reversing a 0.1% m/m decline the month before.
Favourable seasonal factors and a strong harvest cut the prices of fresh produce in April, cutting food and beverages prices (33% of the basket) prices by 0.1% m/m in April. The annual growth thus slowed to 7.2% from 8.0% y/y in March.
Housing and utilities prices (14% of the basket) grew 0.8% m/m in April on recovering oil prices, sending the annual rise to 5.4% from 4.9% y/y in March. Transport prices flattened m/m in April, cutting the annual rise to 2.9% from 3.5% y/y in March. Strong local demand boosted restaurant ad hotels prices by 10.9% y/y in Tunisia, despite easing from a 11.0% annual hike a month earlier.
The recent terrorist attack in the capital Tunis has boosted security concerns and will likely constrain tourism activity in the near term ahead of the peak summer season.
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