EconomyEditor's Pick

Inflation rate rises 13.7%, as Zambia records K3.5 billion trade deficit (See other important stats)


Zambia’s annual inflation rate has surged to 13.7 percent in March 2024 due to price movements of selected food items.

This is as the country recorded K3.5 billion trade deficit.

Read more: Inflation rate rises 13.5%, as Zambia records K1.9 billion trade surplus (See other important stats)

Giving an overview of the country’s statistics, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) Acting Statistician General, Chola Nakazwe Daka, stated that the annual inflation for March, 2024 increased to 13.7 percent from 13.5 percent recorded in February, 2024.

This meant that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 13.7 percent between March 2023 and March, 2024.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, Daka said that annual food inflation for March, 2024 was recorded at 15.6 percent compared to 14.1 percent the previous month.

This, she said, meant on average prices of food items increased by 15.6 percent between March, 2023 and March, 2024.

Daka noted that the outturn was mainly attributed to increase in price movements of bread and cereals, (breakfast & roller mealie meal, maize grain, samp, rice, bread, bun, fritters) meat. Chicken, cooking oil and sugar.

She said annual non-food inflation for March 2024 was recorded at 11.2 percent compared to 12.7 percent the previous month.

This development was mainly attributed to price movements of motor vehicles, fuels and transport.

Daka pointed out that of the overall 13.7 percent annual inflation, the food and non-alcoholic beverage group contributed 9.0 percentage points, while non-food group accounted for 4.7 percentage points.

“Of the 4.7 percentage points, transport contributed the highest at 1.6 percentage points followed by furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 0.7 percentage points each.Clothing and footwear recorded a contribution 0.6 percentage points,” she said.

Daka added that the rest of the non-food group accounted for the remaining 1.1 percentage points.

She indicated that Lusaka province contributed the highest at 3.7 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 13.7 percent in March, 2024.

Copperbelt, she said, contributed 2.7 percentage points.

Daka said Central and Southern provinces contributed 1.7 and 1.6 percentage points respectively, while North-western province had the lowest contribution of 0.5 percentage points.

On trade, Daka reported that trade for the period January to February 2024 of was K79.6 billion, while that of 2023 for the same period was K66.3 billion, representing a 20.2 percent increase in the cumulative total trade earnings.

“The total value of exports via all modes of transport for the month of January to February 2024 was K39.0 billion. Road transport accounted for highest value at K18.6 billion representing 47.6 percent share,” she said.

The total value of imports via all modes of transport for the month of January to February was K40.6 billion.

Daka said road transport was the highest at K21.3 billion representing 52.5 percent followed by air transport at K2.4 billion.

She added that rail transport was third at K0.1 billion accounting for 0.3 percent of the total import bill.

Other modes of transport, Daka noted accounted for K16.7 billion.

In terms of volumes, she said a total of 1,178.4 million tonnes of imports were recorded for the month of January to February 2024, of which road transport accounted for 597.0 thousand tonnes, representing the highest share at 50.7 percent.

Daka said railway transport accounted for 25.3 thousand tonnes, representing a share of 2.1 percent in the period under review.

She added that Zambia recorded a trade deficit of K3.5 billion in February, 2024 compared to a surplus of K1.9 billion in January 2023.

“Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, increased by 20.1 percent to K17.3 billion in February 2024 from K21.7 billion in January 2024,” Daka noted.

This was mainly on account of decrease in export earnings from intermediate goods by 22.0 percent, capital goods by 59.7 percent and consumer goods by 10.3 percent.

She said imports decreased by 5.2 percent to K20.8 billion in February 2024 from K19.8 billion in January 2024, and that this was mainly as a result of increases in import bills of Capital goods (27.8 percent), consumer goods (4.8 percent) and raw materials (1.5 percent)

WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.

Group speaks on embracing home- grown financing solutions to tackle Zambia’s debt

Previous article

Auditor General’s report hints at anomalies in petroleum products procurement

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Economy