The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has announced that inflation has dropped from 6.7 per cent in April to 6.5 per cent in May.

And the CSO says the trade balance figures which his office announced for the months of January and February this year were wrong.

Speaking at a media briefing today, CSO Director of Census and Statistics John Kalumbi said inflation had dropped.

“Of the total 6.5 per cent annual inflation rate recorded in May 2017, food and non-food alcoholic beverages accounted for 3.2 percentage points, while non-food items accountable for a total for 3.3 percentage points,” said Kalumbi.

Kalumbi said Lusaka had the greatest influence on the overall annual rate of inflation with the highest provincial contribution of 1.8 percentage points to 6.5 per cent for the month of May.

“Provincial changes in inflation rate show that between May 2016 and May 2017, North Western had the highest annual rate of inflation at 7.8 per cent, followed by Copperbelt at 7.6 per cent. Luapula and Western Provinces recorded the lowest annual rate of inflation at 5.4 per cent.”

And Kalumbi said the trade balance figures which his office announced for January and February were wrong.

“Following the quality improvement process being undertaken by CSO in collaboration with the Mineral Value Chain Project (MVCP), the trade balance figures earlier disseminated for January and February 2017 have accordingly been revised. January 2017 has since recorded a trade surplus of K 1, 071.7 million from the previously disseminated trade deficit of K227.3 million. However, February recorded a reduced trade deficit of K307.9 million from K1, 140.8 million as earlier disseminated,” said Kalumbi.

“In April 2017, Zambia recorded a trade deficit valued at K1,163.7 million. This represents a 150.3 per cent increase in the trade deficit from K465.0 million recorded in March 2017. This means that the country imported more in April 2017 than it exported in nominal terms.”