By William Davison, Bloomberg
Ethiopian inflation was little changed at 39.8 percent in October, fueled by rising food prices, the statistics office said.
The inflation rate eased from 40.1 percent in September, the Central Statistical Agency, based in the capital, Addis Ababa, said in an e-mailed statement today. Food prices surged 51.7 percent last month after gaining 51.3 percent in September.
“As long as food inflation remains on the high side, it is very difficult to keep inflation at bay in a meaningful way,” Eyob Tesfaye, an independent economic analyst in Addis Ababa, said in an e-mailed response to questions today. The cost of food may not “ease in a short time. If it eases it would be a short-term phenomenon.”
Surging commodity prices and excessive domestic money supply has boosted inflation, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said in July. Inflation is “constraining growth” and is a “heavy tax burden on the poor,”the International Monetary Fund and World Bank said in an August report.
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