Zambia’s annual inflation rate drops

A trader weighs gold nuggets near Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
A trader weighs gold nuggets near Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo

The annual inflation rate in Zambia has decreased from 7.4 percent in February 2015 to 7.2 percent in March 2015.

Central Statistical Office (CSO) Director of Census and Statistics, John Kalumbi has attributed the drop in the inflation rate to prices having increased on average by 7.2 percent between March 2014 and March 2015.

He stated that out of the total 7.2 percent annual inflation rate recorded in March 2015, food and non-alcoholic beverages products accounted for 3.7 percent while non-food products accounted for a 3.5 percent.

Mr. Kalumbi explained that the annual food inflation rate for March 2015 was recorded at 7.2 percent compared to 7.6 percent which was recorded in February 2015 that indicates a decrease of 0.4 percent.

He said the annual non-food inflation rate has decreased from 7.3 percent in February 2015 to 7.1 percent in March 2015.

Mr. Kalumbi said this during the Central Statistical Office monthly briefing in Lusaka on March 26th 2015.

He explained that a comparison of retail prices between February 2015 and March 2015 shows that the national average price of a 25kg bag of breakfast mealie meal decreased by 0.6 percent from K71.00 to K70.61 while a bag of roller meal of the same quantity also decreased by 1.3 percent from K54.62 to K53. 93.

He stated that  retail prices between February and March 2015 show that the national average price of 1kg of rape vegetable decreased by 4.7 percent from K4.44 to K4.23 while  price of  1 kg tomatoes decreased by 10.9 percent from K6.32 to K5.63.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kalumbi said Zambia has recorded a trade deficit valued at K107.3 million in February 2015 from a trade deficit of K68.4m recorded in January this year.

He said the deficit was an indication that the country imported more in February 2015 than it did in exports in nominal terms.

Mr. Kalumbi said the highest trade surplus valued at K295.4 million was recorded in January 2014 while the lowest was recorded in June 2014 valued at K16.7m.

He further said Zambia’s major export products in February 2015 were from the intermediate goods category which mainly comprised copper cathodes and sections of refined copper which accounted for 80.0 percent.

Mr. Kalumbi stated that other exports were from consumer goods, capital goods and raw material categories which also accounted for 20.0 percent of total exports in February 2015.

He said this implies that the country has been a net exporter of intermediate goods mainly metal and their articles which on average accounted for 82.4 percent of the total exports.

And Mr. Kalumbi also announced that Zambia’s major export destination in February 2015 was Switzerland which accounted for 32.6 percent saying the major exports products to Switzerland were cathodes and sections of cathodes of refined copper accounting for 88.9 percent.

He pointed out that China was the country’s second major destination accounting for 16. 5 percent and that the major export to that country was Copper blisters while the third major export destination was Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which accounted for 12.8 percent with sulphuric acid accounting to 49.3 percent being exported to that country.