ZAMBIA has recorded a reduction in the annual rate of inflation from 22.2 per cent in March to 21.8 per cent in April 2016.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) director John Kalumbi said the annual rate of inflation as measured by all the items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2016 decreased to 21.8 per cent.
Out of the 21.8 per cent of the annual inflation rate recorded in April 2016, food and non-alcoholic beverage products accounted for 13.7 percentage points, while non-food products accounted for 8.1 percentage points.
Mr Kalumbi told journalists at a monthly media briefing that, this meant that on average, prices increased by 21.8 per cent between April 2015 and April 2016.
“The decrease in the annual rate of inflation is mainly attributed to decreases in the prices of non-food items such as motor vehicles. The CPI measures changes over time the general level prices of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption, with reference to the price level in 2009, “Mr Kalumbi said.
He said the annual rate of food inflation for April 2016 was recorded at 26.5 per cent compared to 26.2 per cent recorded in March 2016, indicating an increase of 0.3 percentage points.
The non-food inflation rate for April 2016 decreased to 16.7 percent from 17.9 per cent, indicating a decrease of 1.2 percentage points.
“The increase in food inflation was mainly attributed to increases in the inflation of rice, chicken, tomatoes and sugar. While the decrease in non-food inflation is mainly attributed to decreases in inflation of motor vehicles,” he said.
A comparison of retail prices between March 2016 and April 2016 shows that the national average price of a 25 kilogramme (KG) bag of breakfast mealie-meal increased by 2.1 per cent from K86.25 to K87.04.
In terms of provincial contribution Lusaka Province had the highest contribution of 6.1 percentage points to the overall annual inflation rate of 21.8 per cent.
“Copperbelt Province had the second highest contribution of four percentage points. Western Province had the lowest contribution of 0.8 percentage points,” he said.
And Zambia recorded a trade deficit in March 2016 valued at K800.9 million.
This represents a 17.8 per cent increase in the trade deficit from K679.8 million recorded in February 2016.