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Zambia’s inflation rate rises to 14.7% in May, trade surplus hits K2.4 billion


Zambia’s annual inflation rate rose by 0.9 percentage points to 14.7 percent in May 2024, driven by price increases in both food and non-food items.

This is as the country recorded K2.4 billion trade surplus.

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

The Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) Statistician General, Goodson Sinyenga, provided an overview, noting that the annual inflation rate increased from 13.8 percent in April 2024.

This reflects an average price increase of 14.7 percent for goods and services between May 2023 and May 2024.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka, Sinyenga reported that annual food inflation reached 16.2 percent in May 2024, up from 15.7 percent in April 2024.

The rise was attributed to higher prices for bread, cereals, fish, vegetables, cooking oil, and sugar.

Non-food inflation also increased to 12.7 percent from 11.2 percent, influenced by rising costs of motor vehicles, fuels, and electricity.

“Of the overall 14.7 percent annual inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed 9.4 percentage points, while the non-food category contributed 5.3 percentage points,” Sinyenga said.

Within the non-food group, transport had the highest contribution at 2.0 percentage points.

Sinyenga highlighted regional contributions to the inflation rate, with Lusaka province at the forefront with 4.1 percentage points, followed by Copperbelt at 3.1 percentage points.

In trade, Sinyenga reported a total trade value of K163.1 billion from January to April 2024, a 21.9 percent increase from the same period in 2023.

“The total export value for this period was K83.3 billion, with road transport accounting for 43.3 percent of the exports,” he said.

Zambia’s trade surplus in April 2024 was K2.4 billion, slightly down from K2.6 billion in March 2024.

Exports, mainly domestically produced goods, increased by 5.1 percent, driven by a rise in export earnings from intermediate goods like copper anodes.

Imports rose by 7.0 percent, largely due to an 18.8 percent increase in consumer goods imports.

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