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Inflation rate rises 12.6%, as Zambia records K0.5 billion trade deficit (See other economic indices)


Zambia’s annual inflation rate has increased to 12.6 percent in October due to price movements of selected food and non-food items.

This is as the country recorded K0.5 billion trade deficit.

The annual inflation for October 2023, increased to 12.6 percent from 12.0 percent recorded in September 2023, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) Statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, said.

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

This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 12.6 percent between October 2022 and October 2023.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, Musepa said that annual food inflation for October, 2023 was recorded at 13.6 percent compared to 13.4 percent the previous month.

This, he said, meant on average prices of food items increased by 13.6 percent between October 2022 and October 2023.

Musepa noted that the outturn was mainly attributed to price movements in cereals (breakfast and roller meal, maize grain, rice, cassava meal, macaroni), meat and chicken.

He said annual non-food inflation for October was recorded at 11.3 percent compared to 10.1 percent the previous month.

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

He said that of the overall 12.6 percent annual inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 7.8 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 4.8 percentage points.

“Of the 4.8 percentage points, transport contributed the highest at 2.0 percentage points followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 1.0 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 4.2 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 12.0 percent in October 2023.

Copperbelt and Central provinces contributed 2.3 and 1.3 percentage points respectively.

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

On trade, Musepa reported that cumulative total trade for the period January to September 2023 was K303.8 billion, while that of 2022 for the same period was K262.7 billion, representing a 15.6 percent increase.

“The total value of exports via all modes of transport for the period January to September 2023 was K155.6 billion. Road transport accounted for highest K74.1 billion representing 47.6 percent share.

“Rail transport was second at K6.7 billion and air transport was third accounting for K3.3 billion, while other modes accounted for K71.5 billion,” he said.

The total value of imports via all modes of transport for the period January to September 2023 was K148.1 billion.

Musepa said road transport was the highest at K84.8 billion representing 57.2 percent followed by air transport at K7.0 billion.

He said rail transport was third at K2.5 billion accounting for 1.7 percent of the total import bill.

Other modes of transport, he noted accounted for K53.8 billion.

In terms of volumes, Musepa said a total of 5.4 million tonnes of imports was recorded for the period January to September 2023, of which road transport accounted for 3.2 million tonnes, representing the highest share at 58.9 percent.

Musepa said railway transport accounted for 211.0 thousand tonnes, representing a share of 3.9 percent in the period under review.

He added that Zambia recorded a trade deficit of K0.5 billion in September 2023 compared to a surplus of K2.3 billion in August,2023.

“Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, decreased 10.0 billion from K19.1 billion in August 2023,” Musepa noted.

This was mainly on account of 8.2 and 76.2 percent decreases in export earnings from Intermediate goods and Capital goods respectively.

He said imports increased by 5.6 percent to K17.7 billion in September 2023, from K16.8 billion in August 2023, and that this was mainly as a result of 11.7, 5.8 and 6.1 percent increases in import bills of intermediate goods, consumer goods and capital goods, respectively.

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