Inflation set to slightly ease, according to BCT

The latest forecasts project an average inflation rate of 7% in 2019 and 6.7% in 2020, thanks to a slight easing of the rise in consumer prices after reaching 7.3% in 2018, says the report on economic and monetary developments and medium-term outlook for May, published by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT).

By the main component, inflation of administered products is expected to remain at a high level, standing at 4.6% in 2019 and 4.2% in 2020.

This outlook is mainly due to higher energy prices. As for the inflation of fresh food products, the rise in prices observed in the first quarter of 2019 (9.7% year-on-year) should ease slightly in the coming period.

Forecasts expect fresh produce prices to grow by an average of 9% in 2019 and 6.7% in 2020, after 8.3% recorded in 2018.

The upward outlook for fresh produce prices, especially in 2019, are associated with the near-general rise in production costs (a large proportion of inputs of which imported) and distribution (pass-through of possible increases in energy prices), falling supply and excessive margin behaviour.

The outlook for core inflation, measured by the consumer price index excluding fresh produce and products with administered prices, has improved relatively.


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