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Zambia’s annual inflation rate dips to 9.9%, as country records K.5bn trade deficit


Zambia’s annual inflation rate has declined to 9.9 percent in May due to a reduction in prices of selected non-food items. This is as the country recorded K0.5 billion trade deficit.

The annual inflation for May 2023, slowed down to 9.9 percent from 10.2 percent recorded in April 2023, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) interim statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, said.

Read more: Inflation rate rises 10.2%, as Zambia records K2.8 billion trade deficit

This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 9.9 percent between May 2022 and May 2023.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Wednesday, Musepa indicated that annual food inflation for May, 2023 remained at 11.6 percent.

He said this development was mainly attributed to price movements in meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables.

Musepa said annual non-food inflation for May decreased to 7.6 percent from 8.3 percent in April 2023.

This development was mainly attributed to decreases in prices of non-food items such as materials for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling, floor tiles-Porcelain-60×60, small electric household appliances, diesel and air fare regional.

He said that of the overall 9.9 percent annual inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 6.6 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 3.3 percentage points.

“Of the 3.3 percentage points, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels contributed the highest at 1.0 percentage points followed by transport and clothing and footwear at 0.8 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively,” Musepa said.

He added that the rest of the non- food group accounted for the remaining 1.0 percentage points.

Musepa indicated that Lusaka province contributed the highest at 3.3 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 9.9 percent in May 2023.

Copperbelt and Eastern provinces was at 1.7 and 1.0 percentage points each in the month under review.

He pointed out that Central and Southern Provinces contributed 0.9 percentage points each, while North-Western province had the lowest contributions of 0.4 percentage points.

On trade, Musepa indicated that cumulative total trade for the period January to April 2023 was K133.8 billion, while that of 2022 for the same period was K116.4 billion, representing a 15.0 percent increase.

“The total volume of exports via all modes for the period January to April 2023 was K68.2 billion. Road transport accounted for highest K35.4 billion representing 51.9 percent share.

“Rail transport was second at K1.9 billion and air transport was third accounting for K1.3 billion, while other modes accounted for K29.6 billion,” he said.

Musepa said total value of imports via all modes of transport for January to April 2023 was K65.7 billion.

In terms of volumes, he said a total of 2,231.8 million tonnes of imports was recorded for the period January to April 2023, of which road transport accounted for 1,394.8 thousand tonnes, representing the highest share at 62.5 percent.

Musepa said railway transport accounted for 106.5 thousand tonnes, representing a share of 4.8 percent in the period under review.

He added that Zambia recorded a trade deficit of K0.5 billion in April 2023 compared to a deficit of K2.8 billion in March 2023.

Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, decreased by 11.1 percent to K15.1 billion in April 2023 from K17.0 billion in March 2023, Musepa noted.

This was mainly on account of a 15.1 percent decrease in export earnings from intermediate goods.

He said imports decreased by 21.3 percent to K15.6 billion in April 2023, from K19.3 billion in March 2023, and that this was mainly as a result of 48.3, 16.4, 24.6 and 8.3 percent decrease in import bills of raw materials, intermediate goods, consumer goods and capital goods respectively.

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