Zambia’s inflation rate increases by 0.1%

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ZAMBIA’S Annual rate of inflation, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased by 0.1 percentage points, from 6.6 percent in March 2013 to 6.5 percent in April.

Central Statistical Office (CSO) Director John Kalumbi attributed the slowing down in the annual inflation mainly to decreases in prices of some non-food items.

Kalumbi told journalists at the CSO monthly bulletin in Lusaka today that of the total 6.5 percent annual inflation rate recorded this month, food products accounted for 3.2 percentage points, while non-food products accounted for a total of 3.3 percentage points.

The CSO Director also disclosed that the annual food rate increased by 0.1 percentage point from 6.0 percent recorded in March 2013 to 6.1 percent in April.

He further stated that the non-food inflation rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points from 7.2 percent recorded in March 2013 to 6.9 percent in April.

Kalumbi said regarding disaggregate groups, the annual rate of inflation increased for food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, transport , restaurant and hotel.

He said the annual rate of inflation decreased for clothing and footwear, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, health, communication, recreation and culture, education and miscellaneous goods and services.

And Kalumbi said a comparison of retail prices between March and April 2013 showed that the national average price of a 25 kilogramme (kg) bag of breakfast mealie meal increased by 4.1 percent from KR55.77 to KR58.16.

He said the national average price of a 25 kg bag of roller mealie meal also increased by 4.0 percent from KR42.53 to KR44.29.

Kalumbi said the national average price of a 20 litre tin of maize grain decreased by 0.3 percent from KR 27.10 to KR27.02.

He further explained that the national average price of a 1 kg of dried Kapenta decreased by 9.5  percent from KR84.09 to KR76.82 and that the average price of a 1 kg head of cabbage increased by 5.1 percent from KR2.14 to KR2.25.

Meanwhile,  Kalumbi disclosed that Zambia recorded a trade surplus valued at KR307.2 million in March 2013 from KR133.2 million recorded in February 2013.

He said this means that the country exported more in March than it imported in nominal terms.

Kalumbi noted that Zambia has continued to record trade surpluses since January this year with the highest recorded in April while the lowest was recorded in February.