Inflation increases to 7.7 percent in March

Bank of Zambia kwacha
Bank of Zambia kwacha
The annual rate of inflation for the month of March has marginally increased to 7.7 percent compared to 7.6 percent recorded in February 2014.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka today, Central Statistical Office (CSO) Director John Kalumbi says the annual rate of inflation increased for food and non alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, furnishings, house equipment and routine household maintenance, while decreasing in water ,housing, electricity, gas and other fuels as well as health, education and communication.

Mr. Kalumbi says the annual rate of inflation increased for central, Copperbelt, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Southern and Western Provinces and decreased for Eastern and North Western Provinces.

He says Northern and Muchinga provinces had the highest rate of inflation at 9.7 percent while central province had the lowest annual rate of inflation at 6.2 percent.

Mr Kalumbi adds that Lusaka had the highest provincial contribution rate of 2.1 percent while Luapula and North Western provinces had the lowest provincial contribution of 0.3 percentage points each.

Mr. Kalumbi further revealed that the country recorded a reduced trade surplus valued at fifty nine million kwacha in February 2014 from the two hundred and ninety six million kwacha recorded in January 2014.

He attributes the drop in the trade surplus to the decline in traditional exports and nontraditional exports.