Tunisia’s CPI inflation quickens to 3.6% y/y in May

By bne IntelliNews June 5, 2016

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.

  May-15 Apr-16 May-16
CPI (y/y) 5,3% 3,4% 3,6%
Food/beverages 6,3% 1,8% 2,9%
Tobacco 9,9% -0,5% -0,6%
Clothing/Footwear 7,2% 8,1% 7,0%
Housing/utilities 4,5% 4,6% 4,8%
Furniture/equipments 5,4% 5,3% 5,0%
Health 3,5% 2,3% 2,3%
Transport 3,1% 1,5% 1,2%
Communications -4,2% -1,4% 0,0%
Recreation/culture 3,2% 1,9% 1,3%
Education 4,7% 10,2% 10,1%
Rest/Hotels 11,5% 4,8% 4,2%
Other serivces 6,5% 6,2% 6,3%
Source: INS      

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