10 May 2016

Tanzania: Inflation Rate Stagnates, Prices Remain Stable

Photo: Leonard Magomba/East African
Sugar in Tanzania (file photo)

The monthly headline inflation rate for the month of April has stagnated at 0.5 per cent as it was recorded in March as movement of prices remained relatively stable, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

NBS Director of Population, Census and Social Statistics, Mr Ephraim Kwesigabo, said in Dar es Salaam that the annual headline inflation rate for the year ending April has decreased to 5.1 per cent from 5.4 per cent in March.

"The decrease explains that the speed of price increase for commodities in the year ending April, 2016 has decreased as compared to the speed of price increase recorded for the year ended March, 2016," he said.

Mr Kwesigabo said the annual inflation rate for food consumed at home and away from home has decreased to 7.3 per cent in April from 8.0 per cent recorded in March 2016 while the annual inflation rate, which excludes food and energy for April, has slightly increased to 3.0 per cent from 2.8 per cent in March.

"Excluding food and energy, which are the most volatile components, in the total National Consumer Price Indices (NCPI) could provide inflation rate figure for policy makers," he said.

Mr Kwesigabo pointed out that NBS could not compute how sugar scarcity has affected inflation rate as the office compute the price of product in the first two weeks of the month, while the product scarcity occurred at the end of April.

Speaking on the inflation rate, prominent University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) scholar, Professor Haji Semboja, noted the decrease in the inflation rate from double digit to single digit, pointing out that it was still promising for economic growth.

"We're still on right track for economic growth because important products are available in market as well as people get employments," he remarked.

As for sugar scarcity, Prof Semboja said the government should ensure that the product is available in market as it may affect inflation rate, adding that the government should ensure the country enjoys enough stock of the essential commodity.

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