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Inflation rate rises 10.3%, as Zambia records K.9 billion trade surplus (See other economic indices)


Zambia’s annual inflation rate has increased to 10.3 percent in July due to price movements of selected food items. This is as the country recorded K0.9 billion trade surplus.

The annual inflation for July 2023, increased to 10.3 percent from 9.8 percent recorded in June 2023, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) interim statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, said.

Read More:Inflation rate drops to 9.8%, as country records K40.8 million trade surplus

This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 10.3 percent between July 2022 and July 2023.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, Musepa indicated that annual food inflation for July, 2023 was recorded at 12.1 percent compared to 11.2 percent the previous month.

He said this meant on average prices of food items increased by 12.1 percent between July 2022 and July 2023.

Musepa said the outturn was mainly attributed to price movements in cereals, fish, milk, Cheese and eggs and vegetables.

He said annual non-food inflation for July remained the same at 7.8 percent.

This development was mainly attributed to increases in prices of non-food items such as clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals products, and accommodation services.

He said that of the overall 10.3 percent annual inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 6.9 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 3.4 percentage points.

“Of the 3.4 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 0.6 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 3.4 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 10.3 percent in July 2023.

Copperbelt was at 1.8 percentage points, while Central and Eastern province contributed 1.1 percentage points each.

He said North-western province had the lowest contribution of 0.3 percentage points.

On trade, Musepa indicated that cumulative total trade for the period January to June 2023 was K200.4 billion, while that of 2022 for the same period was K178.4 billion, representing a 12.3 percent increase.

“The total volume of exports via all modes for the period January to June 2023 was K101.9 billion. Road transport accounted for highest K50.8 billion representing 49.8 percent share.

“Rail transport was second at K4.1 billion and air transport was third accounting for K2.4 billion, while other modes accounted for K44.6 billion,” he said.

The total value of Imports via all modes of transport for the period January to June 2023 was K98.5 billion. Road transport was the highest at K56.9 billion representing 57.8 percent share, followed by Air transport at K4.8 billion (4.9 percent). Rail transport was third at K1.9 billion accounting for 2.0 percent of the total import bill. Other modes of transport accounted for K34.9 billion (35.4 percent).

Musepa said total value of imports via all modes of transport for January to June 2023 was K98.5 billion.

In terms of volumes, he said a total of 3,481.2 million tonnes of imports was recorded for the period January to June 2023, of which road transport accounted for 2,124.1 million tonnes, representing the highest share at 61.0 percent.

Musepa said railway transport accounted for 150.8 thousand tonnes, representing a share of 4.3 percent in the period under review.

He added that Zambia recorded a trade surplus of K0.9 billion in June 2023 compared to a surplus of K0.5 billion in May 2023.

Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, decreased by 2.8 percent to K16.6 billion in June 2023 from K17.1 billion in May 2023, Musepa noted.

This was mainly on account of a 2.6, 12.9, 2.6 and 0.5 percent decreases in export earnings from intermediate goods, capital goods, raw materials and consumer goods respectively.

He said imports decreased by 7.8 percent to K15.7 billion in June 2023, from K17.1 billion in May 2023, and that this was mainly as a result of 27.6, 20.3 and 2.5 percent decreases in import bills of capital goods, raw materials and intermediate goods respectively.

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