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Inflation rate rises 12.0%, as Zambia records K2.31 billion trade surplus (See other economic indices)


Zambia’s annual inflation rate has increased to 12.0 percent in September due to price movements of selected food and non-food items.

This is as the country recorded K2.31 billion trade surplus.

The annual inflation for September 2023, increased to 12.0 percent from 10.8 percent recorded in August 2023, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) Statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, said.

Read more: Zambia records K2.3 billion trade surplus, as inflation rate climbs to 10.8%

This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 12.0 percent between September 2022 and September 2023.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, Musepa indicated that annual food inflation for September, 2023 was recorded at 13.4 percent compared to 12.6 percent the previous month.

He said this meant on average prices of food items increased by 13.4 percent between September 2022 and September 2023.

Musepa said the outturn was mainly attributed to price movements in cereals (breakfast and roller meal, bread flour,maize grain, rice), meat and chicken.

He said annual non-food inflation for September was recorded at 10.1 percent compared to 8.5 percent.

This development was mainly attributed to increases in prices of non-food items such purchase of motor vehicles, fuel and lubricants.

He said that of the overall 12.0 percent annual inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 7.7 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 4.3 percentage points.

“Of the 4.3 percentage points, transport contributed the highest at 1.6 percentage points followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 1.0 p percentage points, clothing and footwear, furniture, household equipment and routine household maintenance at 0.6 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively,” Musepa said.

He added that the rest of the non-food group accounted for the remaining 0.6 percentage points.

Musepa indicated that Lusaka province contributed the highest at 3.9 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 12.0 percent in September 2023.

Copperbelt and Central provinces contributed 2.2 and 1.2 percentage points respectively.

He said Eastern and Southern provinces contributed 1.1 percentage points each, while North-western province had the lowest contribution of 0.4percentage points.

On trade, Musepa indicated that cumulative total trade for the period January to August 2023 was K268.9 billion, while that of 2022 for the same period was K234.8 billion, representing a 14.5 percent increase.

“The total volume of exports via all modes of transport for the period January to August 2023 was K138.5 billion. Road transport accounted for highest K66.5 billion representing 48.0 percent share.

“Rail transport was second at K5.9 billion and air transport was third accounting for K3.2 billion, while other modes accounted for K62.8 billion,” he said.

The total value of imports via all modes of transport for the period January to August 2023 was K130.4 billion.

Musepa said road transport was the highest at K75.1 billion representing 57.6 percent share, followed by Air transport at K6.2 billion (4.8 percent).

He said rail transport was third at K2.3 billion accounting for 1.8 percent of the total import bill.

Other modes of transport, he noted accounted for K46.7 billion.

In terms of volumes, Musepa said a total of 4.8 million tonnes of imports was recorded for the period January to August 2023, of which road transport accounted for 2.9 million tonnes, representing the highest share at 59.6 percent.

Musepa said railway transport accounted for 193.0 thousand tonnes, representing a share of 4.0 percent in the period under review.

He added that Zambia recorded a trade surplus of K2.31 billion in August 2023 compared to a surplus of K2.33 billion in July, 2023.

Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, increased by 9.1 percent to K19.1 billion in August 2023 from K17.5 billion in July 2023, Musepa noted.

This was mainly on account of 7.9, 17.2, 16.2 and 13.1 percent increases in export earnings from Intermediate goods, raw materials, Capital goods, and consumer goods respectively.

He said imports increased by 10.7 percent to K16.8 billion in August 2023, from K15.1 billion in July 2023, and that this was mainly as a result of 12.4, 19.8, 5.0 and 6.7 percent increases in import bills of consumer goods, capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, respectively.

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