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Estonian inflation rose in November

Annual inflation in Estonia rose to 9.1% in November from 8.5% in October, the national statistics office said on Friday.

Inflation in November was fuelled primarily by increases in costs of food and housing fuel, the office said. Inflation has steadily risen from 5.1% last December. Strong domestic demand and rising wages pushed Estonia’s central bank inflation forecast to 7.3% in 2007. The authorities expect inflation to decline along with a slowdown in the Baltic nation’s economic growth. The central bank forecasts GDP growth at 7.3% in 2007, compared to the actual GDP growth of 11.2% in 2006. Curbing inflation is one of the key requirements for joining the common European currency, which Estonia hopes to join in 2011 at the earliest. The strict EU criteria for adopting the euro stipulate that countries must have an average annual inflation rate no higher than the average of the three lowest rates in the EU, plus 1.5%. (m&c.com)