August 8, 2011 / 12:16 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Food prices push Ethiopia inflation to 39 pct

* July food costs up 47.4 pct yr/yr

* Alcohol and tobacco, transport also climb (Adds details, background)

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Consumer prices in Ethiopia jumped 39.2 percent in July from a year earlier, mainly driven by a surge in food costs, the statistics office said on Monday.

Food prices, which account for 57 percent of the consumer price index, jumped 47.4 percent on more expensive cereals, oils and fats, pulses and dairy products.

Cigarettes and tobacco prices rose 44.8 percent, while transport and communication costs were up 44.3 percent, the office said on its website.

Rising inflation has been a common problem for economies in the east and horn of Africa this year, as poor rains have affected farming while oil prices have surged.

Ethiopia is set for 7.5 percent economic growth this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, which says surging inflation is the country’s main macroeconomic challenge. (Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by James Macharia, John Stonestreet)

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