We present various stylized facts about annual CPI based inflation in 47 African countries. Some stylized facts concern time series properties for each of the series but also across series. To achieve a useful and relevant dataset, we impute all missing values in the sample 1960- 2015 using a new method based on postage stamps prices. This results in a balanced panel of annual figures from 1960 to and including 2015 for 47 countries.
The key conclusion from our tour around various data properties is that differences across the country-specific series are substantially larger than their common properties. These differences concern features like peak inflation rates, years of peak inflation, correlation with worldwide inflation figures and country-specific persistence. In one word, there is no such thing as “African inflation”, and we recommend that models for inflation in an African country should be designed one by one. When we correlate inflation features in a cross section with country-specific conditions, we see that more democracy, less corruption, and less religious fractionalization associate with lower inflation rates.

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Econometric Institute

Franses, P. H., & Janssens, E. (2017). Inflation in Africa, 1960-2015. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/102219