Zambia’s inflation rate increases by 0.2%
Zambia’s annual rate of inflation has increased by 0.2 percentage points from 9 percent in February to 9.2 percent in March.
Central Statistical Office (CSO), Acting Director of Census and Statistics John Kalumbi attributed the increase to the increase in prices of non-food items such as fuel and transportation cost, lighting, clothing and footwear.
He said there was, however, a reduction in the prices of food items, beverages, household goods transport and communication.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Kalumbi who announced this at the March monthly bulletin in Lusaka said non-food items accounted for 7.3 percent of the total annual inflation rate while food products accounted for 1.9 percent.
Mr. Kalumbi has, however, predicted a reduced inflation rate in the coming months when farmers harvest their crops.
“The factors that caused the increase in the annual rate of inflation were mainly the increase in the fuel prices which between February and March which resulted in huge increase in consumer inflation and transportation costs. The appreciation of the kwacha this month has however helped to reduce the prices of goods and service. We expect a reduction in the annual rate of inflation between April and May after farmers start harvesting their crops from the fields,” he said.
He said a comparison of retail prices between February and March has indicated a reduction in national average prices for mealie meal, rice, dried kapenta, meat products and vegetables.
He has further disclosed that the country has recorded a trade surplus for 14 months in row with the highest being in January at K1, 484.3billion.
Mr. Kalumbi said Zambia’s major export product in February was from intermediate goods from copper which accounted for 86.8 percent.
He has, however, said stated that the country had a reduction in total value export from K3, 575.3 billion to K3, 020.9 billion.
Mr. Kalumbi said Switzerland has continued to be Zambia’s major export destination accounting for 46.8 percent; China is second with 21.6 percent while South Africa is third on 12.2 percent.
He added that Asia remains the major exporting block accounting for 28.9 percent, SADC is second at 21.1 percent then COMESA and European Union (EU) with 8.1 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.