* Annual consumer inflation at 2.6 pct in Nov vs 1.8 pct/Oct
* Exceeds 2010 budgeted 2 pct inflation for first time
(Releads with details and background)
RABAT, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Higher food and education costs pushed Morocco’s year-on-year inflation to 2.6 percent in November, official data showed on Monday, exceeding for the first time the government’s 2010 inflation forecast.
Compared with the previous month, prices fell 0.7 percent after a 1.6 percent drop in food and beverage prices, said HCP, Morocco’s economic planning and statistics authority.
Food and beverage prices, which account for more than 40 percent of the North African country’s consumer price index, rose 5.2 percent in the 12 months to end-November, while education costs rose 4.6 percent over the same period, HCP said in a statement.
Morocco’s finance ministry has projected a 2 percent inflation rate for both 2010 and next year. [ID:nLDE69B1YO]
Underlying inflation, a gauge used by Morocco’s central bank to set the benchmark interest rate that excludes state tariffs and volatile prices, was up by an annual 0.5 percent in November against 0.4 percent in October. (Reporting by Rabat newsroom; Editing by Hugh Lawson)