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MONTEVIDEO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Uruguay's annual inflation rate climbed to its highest level in 17 months in August, on a sharp increase in food and transport costs, official data showed on Thursday.
Inflation was 9.48 percent on a year-on-year basis and 1.18 percent on a month-on-month basis last month despite a government-imposed price freeze on some 1,600 goods. The last time the annual rate was higher was in March 2014.
Food and drink prices climbed 1.57 percent in August, while transport costs increased 2.24 percent in step with higher fuel prices. The cost of education also jumped 2.46 percent.
The monthly increase in the consumer price index was above market expectations, with a central bank poll of analysts forecasting a rate of 0.91 percent in August.
The jump in inflation is a growing headache for policymakers who forecast inflation will close the year at 8.4 percent, above the official target range of 3 percent to 7 percent. (Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Paul Simao)