DUBAI Feb 9 Tunisia's consumer price inflation
rose to 6.0 percent in January, the highest since April 2008,
from 5.9 percent in December, boosted by rapidly rising prices
of food and clothing, official data showed on Saturday.
Food and drink prices climbed 8.7 percent year-on-year while
clothing and footwear gained 7.7 percent.
Rising inflation may add to pressure on the government of
Prime Minister Hamadi Jabali as it struggles to restore
stability after this week's assassination of an opposition
politician. Poor economic conditions sparked protests that led
to the ouster of veteran ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
The central bank is not aiming for a particular inflation
rate but the most that should be tolerated is 5 percent, central
bank governor Chadli Ayari told Reuters last October.
Inflation rose last year partly because of depreciation of
the Tunisian dinar against the dollar between mid-2011
and mid-2012. The currency has now stabilised, but Tunisia is
running a trade deficit, which grew to 11.64 billion dinars
($7.48 billion) in 2012 from 8.61 billion dinars in 2011.
To help stabilise its external position, Tunisia said late
last month that it was in talks with the International Monetary
Fund on a 2.73 billion dinar loan.