Zambia’s inflation rate reduces to 9.6 per cent
The annual rate of inflation, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) has declined from 9.9 percent in December 2009 to 9.6 percent in January 2010, representing a 0.3 percentage points decline.
Central Statistical Office Director Efreda Chulu attributed the decline in the annual inflation rate in January 2010 to continued reductions in the prices of food.
Ms. Chulu, however, says the increase in the price of fuel would be reflected in the February 2010 CPI because it was effected outside the institution’s reference period.
She said in a speech read for her by CSO Deputy Director John Kalumbi at a CSO monthly bulletin in Lusaka today, that of the total 9.6 annual inflation in January 2010, food products accounted for 3.6 percentage points, while non food products in the CPI collectively accounted for a total of 6.0 percentage points.
“The annual food inflation rate was recorded at 7.1 percent in January 2010. This is a decline from 0.8 percent in December 2009. The decrease in the cost of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, oil and fats contributed most to the decline in food inflation. However, increases were recorded in the cost of mealie meal, maize grain and cereal products”, Ms Chulu said.
Ms. Chulu further disclosed that annual non-food inflation rate was recorded at 12.0 percent in January 2010, saying this was an increase from 11.8 percent in December 2009.
She said regarding disaggregate groups, the annual inflation rates declined for clothing and footwear, furniture and household goods, medical care, transport and communications, recreation and education, among other goods and services.
The CSO Director also said the annual inflation rate increased for rent, fuel and lighting.
“A comparison of the retail prices between December 2009 and January 2010 shows that the national average price of 1kg of dried kapenta reduced by 1.6 percent, from K 48,526 to K47, 761. The national average prices of 1kg of pumpkin leaves reduced by 13.6 percent, from K2, 984 to K2, 577”, she revealed.
She however said the national average prices of a 25 kg bag of white roller meal increased by 3.8 percent, from K47, 736 to K49, 554, while the average price of a 20 litre tin of maize grain increased by 1.7 percent, from K25, 806 to K26, 247.