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Inflation remains below 5%

The inflation rate stabilized at 4.9% in December 2020, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) Wednesday.

This stability is mainly explained by the acceleration of the rate of increase in food prices of 4.4% against 4.3% in November 2020 and health products and services of 7.5% against 7.3% (November 2020).

It also resulted from the deceleration observed in the rate of increase in the prices of household items and household routine maintenance of 5.5% against 5.0% in November 2020), also the prices of miscellaneous goods and services (5.8% against 6% in November).

Since the beginning of the year 2020, inflation has been on a downward trend from 5.9% in January 2020 to 5.8% in February, followed by a transitory rebound to 6.3% during the lockdown months, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then followed a gradual reduction to 5.4% from August to October 4.9% in November and December.

On annual average, inflation was 5.6% in 2020 compared to 6.7% in 2019 and 7.3% in 2018.

In December 2020, food prices rose by 4.4% year-on-year. This rate is explained by the increase in prices of vegetables by 5.9%, cheese and eggs by 5.8%, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery by 5%, fish by 4.6% and grain derivatives by 4.2%.

Over one year, the prices of manufactured products rose by 4.9% due to the increase in the prices of household cleaning products by 6.9% and the prices of building materials by 5.7%.

For services, their prices went up 5.3% year-on-year due to the rise in prices of health services by 7.1%, rents by 4.9% and utility rates by 3%.

Core inflation (excluding food and energy) stabilized at 5.9% from 6.1% in October 2020 and 6.3% in September 2020.

As for prices of free (non-administered) products, they rose by 4.9% against 4.8% for regulated prices.

Free food products increased by 4.3% against 4.7% for food products with regulated prices.

0.3% increase in consumer prices

In December 2020, consumer prices rose by 0.3% after stagnating last month. This increase is mainly related to the rise in prices of clothing items by 1.5%, health products and services by 1.2% and prices of services in restaurants and hotels by 0.4%.

On the other hand, food and transportation prices remained almost stable and communication prices declined slightly.

1.5% rise in prices of clothing products

In December 2020, the prices of clothing products increased by 1.5% due to the rise in prices of winter clothing by 1.6% and winter footwear by 1.6%.

Similarly, prices in the group of health products and services increased by 1.2% in December 2020 due to the rise in prices of pharmaceuticals by 2.1% and prices of ambulatory services by 0.5%.

Finally, over one month, prices of food products remained almost stable. This is due on the one hand to the increase in prices of eggs by 5.2% and olive oil by 2.9% and on the other hand to the decrease in poultry prices by (-1.4%) and fresh vegetable prices by (-1.4%).

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