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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Headline inflation drops as core inflation inches up slightly in April

It’s also interest rate week, ladies and gentlemen. And in advance of that: Headline inflation drops, core inflation up fractionally in April. Annual headline inflation rates dropped to 13.1% in April from 13.3% the month before, the central bank announced yesterday. Core inflation for the month inchedwas up fractionally at 11.62% from 11.59% in March. Analysts expect the rate to climb further as the government moves to slash fuel and energy subsidies with the start of the new fiscal year in July.

Detailed inflation figures will be released on Tuesday, 15 May, the CBE said.

Will the central bank cut interest rates again this coming Thursday? Don’t bank on it, says Naeem’s Allen Sandeep. The MPC had slashed interest rates by 100 bps each time at its last two meetings, as inflation levels began to cool, dropping to their lowest levels yet in March. “The latest data on inflation should make the case harder for the central bank to implement another interest rate cut in the upcoming [meeting],” he tells Reuters. On the other side: Beltone said in a research note that it expects kThursday’s MPC meeting to see a 100 bps rate cut based on the government’s ability to contain inflationary pressures. The firm also expects another rate cut before the end of the current fiscal year.

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