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Zambia records K2.7 billion trade surplus, as inflation rises 13.8% (see other important indices)


Zambia’s annual inflation rate has surged to 13.8 percent in April 2024 due to price movements of selected food items.

This is as the country recorded K2.7 billion trade surplus.

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

Giving an overview of the country’s statistics, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) Statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, stated that the annual inflation for April, 2024 increased to 13.8 percent from 13.7 percent recorded in March, 2024.

This meant that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 13.8 percent between March 2023 and March, 2024.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, Musepa said that annual food inflation for April, 2024 was recorded at 15.7 percent compared to 15.6 percent the previous month.

This, he said, meant on average prices of food items increased by 15.7 percent between April, 2023 and April, 2024.

Musepa 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, vegetables, cooking oil and sugar.

He said annual non-food inflation for April 2024 remained at 11.2 percent compared to the previous month.

This development was mainly attributed to price movements of shoes and other footwear, pharmaceutical products, cement and charcoal.

Musepa pointed out that of the overall 13.8 percent annual inflation, the food and non-alcoholic beverage group contributed 9.1 percentage points, while non-food group accounted for 4.7 percentage points.

“Of the 4.7 percentage points, transport contributed the highest at 1.5 percentage points followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 0.9 percentage points, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, and clothing and footwear at 0.7 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively,” he said.

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

He indicated that Lusaka province contributed the highest at 3.5 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 13.8 percent in April, 2024.

Copperbelt, Musepa said, contributed 2.9 percentage points.

He said Central and Southern provinces contributed 1.8 and 1.7 percentage points respectively, while North-western province had the lowest contribution of 0.4 percentage points.

On trade, Musepa reported that trade for the period January to March 2024 was K120.0 billion, while that of 2023 for the same period was K103.1 billion, representing a 16.4 percent increase in the cumulative total trade earnings.

“The total value of exports via all modes of transport for the month of January to March 2024 was K60.6 billion. Road transport accounted for highest value at K27.9 billion representing 46.2 percent,” he said.

The total value of imports via all modes of transport for the month of January to March was K59.4 billion.

Musepa said road transport was the highest at K31.7 billion representing 53.3 percent followed by air transport at K3.4 billion.

He added that rail transport was third at K0.2 billion accounting for 0.3 percent of the total import bill.

Other modes of transport, Musepa noted accounted for K24.1 billion.

In terms of volumes, he said a total of 1,7 million tonnes of imports were recorded for the month of January to March 2024, of which road transport accounted for 898.6 thousand tonnes, representing the highest share at 52.0 percent.

Musepa said railway transport accounted for 40.7 thousand tonnes, representing a share of 2.4 percent in the period under review.

He added that Zambia recorded a trade deficit of K 2.7 billion in March, 2024 compared to a deficit of K3.5 billion in February 2023.

“Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, increased by 24.1 percent to K21.5 billion in March 2024 from K17.3 billion in Fey 2024,” Musepa noted.

This was mainly on account of 28.9 and 236.7 percent increases in export earnings from Intermediate goods mainly copper anodes and Capital goods such as Dumpers for off-highway use, respectively.

Imports decreased by 9.4 percent to K18.9 billion in March 2024 from K20.8 billion in March 2024. This was mainly as a result of

He said imports decreased by 9.4 percent to K18.9 billion in March 2024 from K20.8 billion in February 2024.

Musepa said this was mainly as a result of an 11.1, 14.2, 4.4 and 7.9 percent increases in import bills of Consumer goods (Gas oils),Capital goods (machinery) , Intermediate goods(Ammonium nitrate) and Raw materials (Sulphur of all kinds), respectively

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