In line with our expectations, consumer prices firmed by 12.13% y/y in January 2020, the highest since April 2018, on the back of pressure from both the food and core inflation. The outturn is 15bps higher than the prior month (January: 11.98% y/y) and 1bp shy our estimate (12.12% y/y). On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation increased slightly by 18bps to 0.87%.
Food inflation rose by 18bps to 14.85% y/y in the period under review, as the low base from the corresponding period in the prior year took a toll on food prices. Specifically, the highest increases were recorded in the prices of Bread and Cereals, Meat, Oils and fats, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers and Fish. From a month ago, food inflation increased marginally by 2bps to 0.99%.
Also, core inflation increased marginally by 2bps to 9.35% y/y. Pressures were most significant in prices of Hospital services, Vehicle spare parts, Cleaning, Repair and hire of clothing, Shoes and other footwear, Glassware, tableware, and household utensil, Hairdressing saloons and personal grooming establishments, Repair and hire of footwear. From a month ago, the core index increased marginally by 1bp to 0.82%.