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Inflation registers new highs

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The March country level average inflation rate peaks at 34.2 percent up from 33.7 percent from last year’s similar period, the Central Statistics Agency reveals.
According to the monthly report of the agency, on March 2023, the overall inflation on food items stood at 34.5 percent showing a 32.8 percent increase from last year. As the report highlights, all cereals including teff, wheat, barley, maize and sorghum have shown rapid increase in their prices.
Increase in prices of most cereals, more so teff, alongside other house hold food items such as pasta and macaroni, vegetables and fruits, potatoes and other tubers, pulses, meat and milk, cheese and eggs are said as the primary contributor to inflation. As the report indicated, high price increase was registered between the months of February 2023 and March 2023 specially, exaggerated increase in prices of teff was observed in the city of Addis Ababa.
Also in the month, the country level non-food inflation rate increased by 32.5 percent in March 2023 as compared to the one observed in March 2022.
According to the report, the non-food inflation stood at 36.3 percent in March 2023. The reason for non-food inflation was mainly due to rise in the prices of clothing and footwear, housing repair and maintenance (cement and corrugated iron sheets), and energy (firewood and charcoal), furniture and home furnishings (sofa, drawers, refrigerator) and fuel, medical care, educational materials and jewelry (gold).
In February, the country level inflation was registered at 32.0 percent. However, as of March 2023, the figure has shown a slight increase of 5.7 percent while the food CPI increased by 7.0 percent as compared to the preceding month of February. During the same period, the non-food CPI registered a 3.9 percentage increase. In the non-food part, clothing and footwear, housing repair and maintenance goods, fuel, chat, jewelry and electronics goods prices showed an increase.
“One of the main reasons for the March 2023 general inflation rate increase is attributed by the increase in food prices compared to a similar month of last year. The non-food inflation rate also increased as compared to a similar month of last year,” stated the report.
Most of the components of food index showed increase as compared to similar month of last year. The continued increase in the prices of meat, cooking oil, milk, cheese and eggs, butter, spices (salt and pepper) and coffee beans during the month also contributed to an increase in the rate of inflation. Bread and cereals by (48.3 percent), meat (32.5 percent), fish and seafood by (29.5 percent), milk, cheese and eggs (36.3 percent), oil and fats (101.0 percent), fruits by (28.4 percent), vegetables and pulses, potatoes and tubers by (12.2 percent), sugar, honey and chocolate declined by (16.4 percent), other food products and spices by (35.1 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages and coffee by 40.9 percent).

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