April 21, 2017 / 11:06 AM / 8 months ago

Transport and food costs drive rise in Burundi inflation in March

NAIROBI, April 21 (Reuters) - Rising transport costs fuelled an increase in Burundi’s year-on-year inflation rate to 21.1 percent in March, from 20.7 percent a month before, official data released on Friday showed.

Transport inflation jumped to 6.9 percent in the year ended last month, from 4.8 percent in the previous period, the Institute of Economic Studies and Statistics (ISTEEBU) data showed, with food inflation remaining high at 34.4 percent in the year to March, unchanged from February.

The landlocked central African country was hit by flooding and drought in 2016, causing a serious drop in food production, while a long conflict between President Pierre Nkurunziza and his opponents has disrupted agricultural output, as well leading to aid cuts by western donors.

UN agencies estimate three million people out of a population of more than 11 million need urgent food assistance.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its forecast for Burundi’s economic growth this year to zero from the previous projection of 2 percent. (Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Alexander Smith)

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