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Ghana producer inflation jumps to 10.5% in December

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s producer price inflation rose sharply to 10.5 percent in December from 3 percent the month before, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

The West African country is under a three-year International Monetary Fund aid programme to address financial problems that include high budget deficits and consumer inflation persistently above government targets.


(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Emma Farge)

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Sudan inflation eases to 12.58% in December

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

(Reuters) – Sudan’s annual inflation rate eased to 12.58 percent in December from a revised 12.8 percent in November, a monthly report from Sudan’s Central Statistics Office said on Monday.

Prices soared in Sudan after South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output, the main source of foreign currency used to support the Sudanese pound and to pay for food and other imports.

As an oil importer, Sudan has benefited from the fall in global oil prices since last year.

Sudan expects a budget deficit of 1.6 percent of GDP for the coming year, up from 1.2 percent for 2015.

The government said last month it expected growth to increase in the coming year as lower oil prices reduce the burden of its oil import bill.

It projects a growth rate of 6.4 percent, up from an expected 5.3 percent for 2015.


(Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Writing by Ola Noureldin; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Rising food prices push up Egypt’s inflation

Comments (0) Business, Latest Updates from Reuters, Middle East

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s urban consumer inflation jumped to its highest level since June, data from the state statistics agency showed on Thursday, propelled by the rising cost of food even as the state takes new measures to keep prices in check.

The figure rose to 11.1 percent in November from 9.7 percent in October, CAPMAS said, compared with 11.4 percent in June.

Egypt said in November it would control the prices of ten essential commodities and use its state grain buying agency to import a broader array of goods in an effort to curb inflation.

However, November core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as fruits and vegetables, rose to 7.44 percent from 6.26 percent in October, the central bank said.

The higher inflation figures might influence the central bank’s decision on interest rates at a monetary policy committee meeting scheduled for next week, Capital Economics said in a research note on Thursday.

“For now, with the domestic economy struggling, we suspect that interest rates will be left on hold next week. But today’s figures … mean that there is a growing risk that the (central bank) will be spooked and decide to hike rates,” the note said.


(Reporting by Eric Knecht; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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Rising food prices push Tanzania inflation higher to 6.6% in Nov

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Rising food prices pushed Tanzania’s year-on-year inflation rate to 6.6 percent in November from 6.3 percent the previous month, the statistics office said on Tuesday.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said month on month inflation rose by 0.8 percent in November from an increase of 0.1 percent in October.

“The increase of the inflation rate in the year to November was mainly caused by faster rises in the price of food items such as rice, maize, meat, fish, beans… and sweet potatoes,” Ephraim Kwesigabo, a director at state-run National Bureau of Statistics, told a news conference.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate increased to 11.2 percent in the year to November from 10.2 percent in October.


(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Drazen Jorgic)

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Tunisian annual inflation rises to 4.6% in October

Comments (0) Business, Latest Updates from Reuters, Middle East

TUNIS (Reuters) – Inflation rose to 4.6 percent in October after remaining steady for the past three months at 4.2 percent, official figures showed on Thursday.

The food and drink price index rose 5.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the state statistics institute said.

Tunisia’s central bank said last week it had cut its main interest rate to 4.25 percent from 4.75 percent to boost economic growth, as inflation rates fell.

Inflation dropped to 4.4 percent in the first 10 months of this year, compared with 5.5 percent last year.

The bank does not target a particular inflation rate but says the highest that should be tolerated is 5 percent.


(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Tom Heneghan, Reuters)

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Zambia lifts benchmark rate to record 15.5% to curb inflation

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s central bank raised its benchmark lending rate to a record 15.5 percent on Tuesday to curb soaring inflation which nearly doubled last month as the currency of the African copper producer weakened sharply.

The rate hike, the first since November 2014, also came after a steep fall by Zambia’s kwacha brought on by tumbling copper prices as the consumption in top copper consumer China slowed along with its economy.

The southern African nation had kept the key rate unchanged at 12.5 percent in August, saying it predicted inflation would breach the regulator’s 7 percent target by year end.

“Keeping inflation expectations anchored in single digits is critical,” Central Bank Governor Denny Kalyalya said.

But consumer prices rose to 14.3 percent from 7.7 percent in September, as Zambia’s currency weakened.

The central bank also lifted the cap restricting commercial bank lending rates to a maximum 24.5 percent to allow better functioning of the credit market, Kalyalya said.

The Zambian kwacha firmed 1.36 percent to 12.41 after the rate hike but later traded up 0.56 percent at 12.5000.

“This should allow the kwacha to at least stabilise,” Standard Chartered Bank Africa economist Razia Khan said.

“A more significant reversal of recent losses would require some turnaround in copper prices and much higher interbank rates.”

Economic growth is expected at 4.6 percent in 2015 due to weaker global activity and lower commodity prices as well as a domestic electricity crunch, but would tick up to 5 percent next year, finance minister Alexander Chikwanda said in the 2016 budget speech.

Zambia suffers from severe power shortages. The state utility firm Zesco Ltd has cut the electricity supply to mining firms and doubled prices for other industrial users and household consumers.

Despite these measures, the price of copper, Zambia’s main export, was still low and power outages were expected to continue putting pressure on the kwacha and spiralling inflation, BanABC head of Treasury John Mapiye said.

“We expect yields to rise and that may attract foreign portfolio investment in securities and help strengthen the kwacha temporarily,” Mapiye said.

“The cost of borrowing will increase and ultimately this will filter down to the consumer hence we still expect to see an upward spiral in the rate of inflation.”


(By Chris Mfula. Additional Reporting by Nqobile Dludla in Johannesburg; Editing by James Macharia and Raissa Kasolowsky. Reuters)


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Cameroon inflation rises but can still hit 3% target

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

YAOUNDE (Reuters) – Cameroon’s inflation rate rose to 3.4 percent in the first half of the year but the country can still hit its full-year target of 3 percent, the national statistics bureau said on Monday.

Inflation rose due to increased transport costs and the impact of the country’s fight against Boko Haram, which has driven up prices in the Far North region where the Islamist militant group has staged dozens of attacks.

Cameroon is participating in a regional task force led by neighboring Nigeria against the group.

“The overall rate during the last twelve months is largely due to the surge of 14.5 percent in prices of transport, 5.2 percent for restaurants and hotels and 4.1 percent for alcohol and tobacco,” a statement said.

In September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised Cameroon’s 2015 growth forecast up to 6 percent, saying it could be higher but for a drop in oil prices and the Boko Haram operation.

The IMF said inflation would remain below 3 percent in 2015.

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Moroccan inflation eases to 1.6% y/y in September

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

RABAT (Reuters) – Morocco’s consumer price inflation eased to an annual 1.6 percent in September from 1.7 percent in August as non-food prices dropped, the High Planning Authority said on Thursday.

Food inflation rose slightly to 3.9 percent from 3.5 percent in the 12 months to August. Non-food price inflation eased to 0.2 percent from 0.4 percent in the previous month.

Transport costs fell 4.7 percent, while hotels and restaurants were 2.3 percent more expensive, the agency said, without elaborating.

On a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in September, compared to 0.1 percent in August. Food price inflation was steady at 0.2 percent on the month while non-food inflation eased to 0.1 percent.

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Burundi’s inflation eases to 4.1% year-on-year in September

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

KIGALI (Reuters) – Burundi’s inflation rate dipped to 4.1 percent year-on-year in September from 4.2 percent a month earlier, helped by better production of some crops which slowed food price rises in local markets, official data showed on Tuesday.

The tiny central African coffee producer nation is facing one of its worst political crises after President Pierre Nkurunziza was re-elected in July for a disputed a third term.

Nkurunziza’s opponents said running again broke a peace pact that ended more than a decade of civil war in 2005. The country endured months of protests and violence and tens of thousands of people fled unrest that included an attempted coup in May.

As a result, Burundi’s economic output is expected to shrink by 7.2 percent this year after growing 4.7 percent in 2014, the International Monetary Fund said in its report on world economic output for October.

Burundi’s Institute of Economic Studies and Statistics (ISTEEBU) said inflation was under control between August and September due to a fall in the price of beans and rice, the most consumed food in a nation of nearly 10 million people.

Food price inflation slowed to 3.8 percent in the year to September from 4.6 percent in August, ISTEEBU said.

Economic analysts fear Burundi’s economic situation could worsen if the crisis persists and if more donors cut aid.

Some major donors such Belgium have already cut aid, in condemnation of the violence and human rights violations committed since April.

The European Union, which funds about half the annual budget of Burundi, is also considering whether to limit its aid, diplomats say, but is wary of hurting the general population.

It has imposed individual sanctions on security officials close to Nkurunziza who were implicated in the violence.

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