—-Zambia’s annual inflation has remained the same for the month of August 2014 as that of July, 2014, by maintaining the 8.0 per cent.
This means that on average, prices increased by 8.0 per cent between August 2013 and August 2014.
Speaking when presenting the monthly bulletin in Lusaka this morning, Central Statistical office (CSO) Director, John Kalumbi, said of the total 8.0 per cent annual inflation rate recorded in August 2014, food and non-alcoholic beverages products accounted for 3.6 percentage points, while non-food products accounted for a total of 4.4 percentage points.
Mr Kalumbi said the annual food inflation rate for August 2014 was recorded at 7.0, indicating an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared to 6.9 per cent recorded in July, 2014.
He said a comparison of retail prices between July and August 2014 shows that the national average price of a 25 kg bag of breakfast mealie meal decreased by 1.2 per cent from K73.20 to K72.33 while the national average price of a 25 kg bag of roller mealie meal decreased by 7.1 per cent from K55.77 to K51.79.
Mr Kalumbi further said the annual non-food inflation rate had decreased by 0.1 percentage points from 9.2 per cent recorded in July 2014 to 9.1 per cent recorded in August, 2014.
And the CSO director said Zambia recorded a trade surplus valued at K117.2 million in July 2014 from K43.8 recorded in June. This means that the country exported more in July 2014 than it imported in nominal terms.
The bulletin shows that Zambia’s major export product in July 2014 were from the intermediate goods category mainly comprising copper cathodes and sections of refined copper accounting for 84.9 per cent while consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods accounted for 15.1 per cent of total exports in July, 2014.
According to the bulletin, Zambia’s major export destination in July, 2014, was Switzerland which accounted for 54.4 per cent, seconded by China which accounted for 13.0 per cent and followed by Congo (DR), South Africa and Australia respectively.
The bulletin shows that the five countries collectively accounted for 83.4 per cent of Zambia’s total export earnings in July, 2014.
The highest trade surplus valued at K295.3 million was recorded in January, 2014 and the lowest trade surplus was in April, 2014, valued at K29.5 million.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalumbi announced that the Central Statistics Office (CSO) will officially launch the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) 2014-2018, on September 2, 2014.
The NSDS, which was approved by Government on May 5, 2014, once implemented, will establish an integrated National Statistical System (NSS) which will yield a comprehensive national statistical database to ensure reliable, comprehensive and harmonised statistical information in the country.
Mr Kalumbi also disclosed that the CSO will hold a stakeholders review meeting of the draft Statistics Bill, 2014 on September 3, this year.
The review meeting will provide a platform of consultations that will enrich the process leading to the enactment of the new statistics law.
Mr Kalumbi said after the approval of the NSDS by the Zambian Government, one of the major milestones that need to be implemented by CSO is the amendment of the Census and Statistics Act of 1964 and the new Statistics Bill has since been drafted.