Tunisia’s PPI inflation retreated to 2.9% y/y in February 2013 from 4.0% a month earlier, due mainly to slower growth in manufacturing producer prices, the statistics office said. Mining and quarrying production prices also tumbled during the month due to slower external demand and periodic sit-ins and strikes waged by labourers. In monthly terms, PPI inflation edged up 0.1% m/m compared with a 0.5% growth a month earlier. Manufacturing producer prices (83% of the basket) grew 3.4% y/y in February, easing from a 4.4% rise the month before. Higher food prices, whose producer costs increased 5.1% over the period, and strong housing demand that lifted construction materials’ producer charges by 3.5%, were the main growth engine.
Chemical producer prices shrank 0.9% y/y in February due to lower commodity prices and even external demand. Strong EU demand boosted charges of textiles by 3.3% in February. Mining and quarrying production inched up just 0.7% y/y, braking from 5.4% growth the month before. Such prices fell 0.7% m/m in February. Water and electricity producer prices were unchanged in annual terms.
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