ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s annual inflation rate fell for the third straight month in May to 25.5 percent from 29.8 percent in the previous month, thanks to a drop in food prices, the statistics office said on Tuesday.
It has come down from 36.3 percent in February.
Although the African country has registered one of the highest economic growth rates in the world for the last few years, the International Monetary Fund says the biggest challenge facing policymakers is the high rate of inflation.
Food inflation slowed to 29.2 percent in May from 36.7 percent in April while non-food inflation was unchanged at 19.6 percent, the Central Statistics Agency said.
Surges in global oil prices and poor harvests drove inflation into double digits in several African countries in the past year, including some of the poorest in the Horn of Africa such as Ethiopia.
Month-on-month price increases slowed to 0.9 percent from 2.1 percent in April, the statistics office said.
Ethiopia’s economy has been boosted in the past few years by coffee earnings as the country is Africa’s biggest coffee producer, as well as rising gold, oil seed and livestock exports. The country is the world’s fourth-largest sesame exporter after China, India and Myanmar.
The country estimated gross domestic product growth of 11 percent for 2011/2012 which ended in March, thanks to rising agricultural output, the seventh consecutive fiscal year of growth.