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Food prices that consume up to 60 percent of an average family income have slightly improved in November, the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) report indicated.
Annual year on year food inflation eased to 50.3 percent in November, the CSA monthly report said. Food inflation was at a year record 51.7 percent in October.
Food prices have been going upwards since the September 2010 devaluation of the birr against major foreign currencies. Though it is slight ease on consumers, the latest drop should help urban consumers that heavily rely on food purchases. “Declines were observed in the prices of maize, sorghum, pulses, spices and vegetables and fruits,” said the CSA report released earlier this week.
The overall inflation rates almost stood still at around 39 percent. October’s 39.8 percent eased in November to 39.2 percent.
Non food inflation went in the opposite direction as it soared to 24 percent during the month from 23.4 percent in October.
Double digit inflation persists against the federal government’s target of holding inflation rates in single digits throughout the five year economic period.
The five year economic plan, Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) targets doubling the economy on a high case scenario or at least registering an 11 percent GDP growth during the period.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May forecasted Ethiopia would register a growth rate of 6 percent for the current 2011/12 fiscal year.
The forecast was significantly lower than the government’s 11 percent is because of the high inflation, restrictions on private bank lending and an increasingly difficult business environment to operate in, the IMF said.
Stating excessive monetary growth was to blame for rising inflation, Prime Minister Meles in July’s start of the current budget year has vowed to reverse the inflationary trend and absorb the year’s budget gap with measures he said would not further exacerbate the cost of living.
Meles promised to resort to sales of treasury bills and bonds. Commercial banks were subsequently ordered to buy bonds worth 27 percent of the total money disbursed as loans.
The federal parliament has approved a 117.8 billion birr budget with a record deficit of 17 billion birr for the budget year which started on July, 8.