Rising food and housing prices boosted Tunisia’s CPI inflation to a five-month high of 3.6% y/y in May from 3.4% annual expansion the preceding month, the statistics office INS said.
In January-May 2016, the CPI index grew 3.4% y/y, remaining well in single digits and the c-bank’s comfort zone. The central bank is sustaining its wait-and-see monetary stance by holding the benchmark rate unchanged at 4.25%, seeking to spur GDP growth amid still anchored inflation.
In monthly terms, the CPI increased 0.6% in May.
Food and beverages prices rose 1.0% m/m in May, fuelling the annual growth to a six-month high of 2.9% from 1.8% y/y in April. Poultry prices climbed 9.1% m/m in May amid strong demand. The fasting month of Ramadan started on June 5 meaning local demand for food items will soar and thus most likely fuel the CPI inflation further in the near term. Fresh vegetable prices grew 3.1% m/m in May.
Housing and utilities prices (14% of the basket) rose 0.5% m/m in May, lifting the annual increase to 4.8% from 4.6% y/y in April. Rents charges climbed 7.0% y/y during the month on strong local demand.
Transport prices rose 1.2% y/y, easing from 1.5% y/y in April as the government liberalised the fuel market.
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