Tunisian annual inflation rises to 6 percent in December

TUNIS Mon Jan 6, 2014 7:28am EST

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TUNIS Jan 6 (Reuters) - Tunisia's annual inflation rate rose to 6 percent in December after remaining steady for the last three months at 5.8 percent, driven largely by a jump in food prices, official data showed on Monday.

The food and drink price index rose 8.4 percent in December from a year earlier. Clothing and footwear prices rose by 7.4 percent, the state statistics institute said.

Consumer prices rose 0.7 pct from November to December 2013. The food and drink price index rose 1.2 percent.

Average inflation for the full year 2013 was 6.1 percent, up from 5.5 percent for 2012.

Tunisia's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to 4.5 percent from 4 percent at the end of December, citing inflation pressures. The central bank does not target a particular inflation rate but says the most that should be tolerated is 5 percent. The rate has not dropped below 5 percent in 2013. (Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Larry King)

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