December 16, 2009 / 12:16 PM / 10 years ago

Ethiopia yr/yr inflation at 0.6 pct in November

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s year-on-year inflation rate came in at 0.6 percent in November from -3.7 percent in October, but food prices fell for the sixth consecutive month, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

Food prices fell by 8 percent in November compared with 12.7 percent the previous month, the Central Statistical Agency said in a report.

Inflation in the vast Horn of Africa nation hit a high of 64.2 percent in July 2008, driven by record high food and fuel prices, but it has fallen every month since.

“The prices of fuel, construction materials, clothing and footwear, furniture and furnishing and personal care and effects are increasing,” the agency said in a statement.

After the July 2008 peak, the government introduced a set of measures including a halt on government borrowing and a rise in bank reserves to drive down the rate.

Ethiopia’s central bank has instructed private banks to restrict borrowing as part of the attempts to curb inflation.

The global recession has slashed international demand for Ethiopia’s agricultural exports and power cuts have ravaged business, fuelling a foreign currency shortage.

The government says it expects growth of about 10 percent in 2010. Opposition parties contest Ethiopian government economic statistics.

Ethiopia, one of Africa’s biggest potential markets with some 80 million people, is drawing growing foreign investor interest in agriculture, hydropower and oil and gas exploration.

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