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Tunisia: BCT confirms inflation that nothing seems to be able to stop

The inflation rate worsened in November 2017, reaching 6.3% year on year against 5.8% in October 2017, the Central Bank of Tunisia said in a memo on the economy Thursday.

The rise in inflation concerned both free and regulated prices, which rose by 7.2% and 3.6% year-on-year (Y / Y) respectively in November 2017, compared to 6.8% and 2.6% respectively, a month earlier, levels significantly higher than those recorded in November 2016 (4.8% and 1.2% respectively).

The significant increase in free prices was supported by food products (+ 10.2% Y / Y in November, against + 8.4% in October), especially for their processed component (11.5% in November against 10, 8% in October 2017 and only 3.1% in November 2016).

As for the firming up of inflation of prices of regulated products (+ 3.6% in November 2017 vs. + 2.6% the previous month), it is due to the sharp rise in inflation of manufactured goods, in relationship with a base effect caused by the fall in tobacco prices in November 2016.

The analysis by branch of activity shows that the main components of the CPI have undergone contrasting changes.

Indeed, while food inflation has accelerated sharply, that of manufactured goods has risen moderately. As for the inflation of the services, it rather recorded a quasi-stability in its rate of evolution.

The consequent rise in food prices (+ 8.7% in November Y / Y against + 7.2% in October), was mainly driven by the acceleration of the inflation of fresh food products (+ 9.4% Y / Y against + 7.1%) due to the decrease of the supply on the domestic market of certain products.

Regarding the inflation of manufactured products, it recorded an increase of 6.3% in November 2017 Y / Y against 6.1% a month earlier.

This acceleration is reflected in the prices of manufactured products (household equipment (+ 3.6% Y / Y vs. + 3.2%), building materials and housing maintenance (+ 10.3% Y / Y vs. +8.4%), cleaning products (+ 4.7% y / y vs. + 4.2%) and other manufactured products (+ 6.8% Y / Y vs. + 5.9%). However, clothing and shoes were relatively relaxed compared to the previous month (+ 6.6% Y / Y against + 7.9%).

Service inflation has risen at the same rate as that of October 2017, i.e. 4.3% Y / Y.

This increase has resulted from disparate changes in the main components. Indeed, while the inflation of the rent service and that of the other services remained at the same level of the previous month, respectively 4.5% and 6.4% Y / Y, the inflation of the public tariffs saw a slight slowdown (+ 1.7% Y / Y vs. + 1.8% a month earlier).

As for the inflation of health and hygiene services, it recorded a more sustained increase (6.0% Y / Y against 5.5% a month earlier).

In addition, the two main indicators of core inflation remained relatively high. Inflation “excluding regulated products and fresh food”, although showing a slight decline Y / Y, stood at 6.6% in November against 6.7% a month earlier.

In contrast, inflation “excluding food and energy” rose to 5.5% against 5.3% in October 2017.

On average, the two underlying indices averaged 6.3% and 5.4%, respectively, in the first 11 months of 2017, compared to 5.1% and 4.7%, respectively, in the same period of 2016, indicating the persistence of inflation.

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