Inflation down to 15.9%

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

THE annual inflation rate has for the second time this year reduced due to a decline in food prices.

Zambia recorded its first reduction this year in June at 15.9 percent from 16.6 percent in May 2020, before registering another slight decline last month of 15.8 percent.

The annual inflation rate started this year with a 12.5 percent, but moved further up in February to 13.9 percent and 14.0 percent in March.

It then went up to 15.7 percent in April before getting to 16.6 percent in May.

The decrease in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to price decreases in food items, says Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStat) Interim Statistician, Mulenga Musepa.

He indicated that food inflation decreased to 16.1 percent from 16.3 percent.

Mr Musepa said this yesterday in Lusaka through ZamStat Assistant Director for economics, Joseph Tembo, when announcing the Monthly Bulletin for July which was took place via webinar.

“This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 15.8 percent between July 2019 and July 2020. The decrease in the annual rate of inflation was attributed to price decreases in food items.

“The decrease in the annual food inflation was mainly attributed to decreases in prices of food items such as cereals (Breakfast Mealie meal, Roller meal, Maize grain, Samp) and Vegetables (Rape, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Onion,” Mr Musepa said.

He also said the Year- to- Date inflation was recorded at 9.7 percent in July 2020, higher than that of the corresponding period in 2019 of 5.8 percent. 

This, Mr Musepa explained, meant that the average prices of goods and services increased at a faster rate in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

He also said the year-on-year food inflation rate for July 2020 was recorded at 16.1 percent compared to 16.3 percent recorded in June 2020, indicating a decrease of 0.2 percentage points.

“This development was mainly attributed to reductions in prices of food items such as cereals (Breakfast mealie meal, Roller mealie meal, Maize grain, Samp) and Vegetables (Rape, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Onion),” Mr Musepa said.

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