31 July 2014

Zambia: Inflation Rises 0.1 Percent

ZAMBIA's annual inflation rate for July has gone up by 0.1 per cent to eight per cent from 7.9 per cent recorded in June 2014.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) director John Kalumbi said the annual rate of inflation as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July 2014 was eight per cent.

Mr Kalumbi said that this means that on average, prices increased by eight per cent between July 2013 and July 2014.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Kalumbi said the increase in the annual rate of inflation is mainly attributed to increases in the non-food items.

Mr Kalumbi said the effected electricity tariff increase contributed about 0.7 percentage points to the observed 8.0 per cent of the annual rate of inflation.

"Of the total eight per cent annual rate of inflation recorded in July 2014, food and non-alcoholic beverage products accounted for 3.5 percentage points, while non-food products accounted for a total of 4.5 percentage points," Mr Kalumbi said.

Mr Kalumbi said annual food inflation rate for July was recorded at 6.9 per cent representing decrease of 0.9 percentage points from the 7.8 per cent recorded in June this year, with the annual non-food inflation rate increasing by 1.2 percentage points.

He said the comparison of retail prices between June and July 2014 shows that national average price of 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast mealie meal decreased by 0.7 per cent from K73.72 to K73.20, while the national average price of 25 kilogramme bag of roller meal decreased by three per cent from K57.47 to K55.77.

"The price of a 20 litre tin of maize grain decreased by 6.8 per cent from K25 .99 to K24.22 during the same period.

"Electricity tariffs for low cost increased by 27.0 per cent from K95.57 to K121.38, while electricity tariffs for high cost increased by 13.6 per cent to K297.96 to K338.40," he said.

The annual rate of inflation increased for Central, Lusaka and North-western provinces, while it decreased for Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Northern/Muchinga and Western provinces.

Mr Kalumbi said that Lusaka had the highest provincial contribution of 2.5 percentage points to the overall annual rate of inflation of 8 per cent recorded in July, 2014.

"Copperbelt had the second highest provincial contribution of 1.5 percentage points while North-Western province had the lowest contribution of 0.3 per cent age points," he said.

He also said that the country recorded a trade surplus valued at K47.7 million in June 2014 from a trade surplus of K41.1 million recorded in May 2014.

Mr Kalumbi said this means that the country exported more in June 2014 than it imported in nominal terms.

Zambia's major export products in June 2014 were from intermediate goods category mainly comprising copper cathodes and sections of refined copper accounting for 82.9 per cent.

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