The annual rate of inflation has leaped to 9.3 per cent in August, up from 8.8 per cent recorded in July, the highest on record since November, 2016, according to Central Statistical Office (CSO) data.
Announcing Zambia’s annual rate of inflation for the month of August, CSO assistant director for Social Statistics Iven Sikanyiti said the rise in inflation this month was largely attributable to price movements in the annual rate of food inflation, mainly a spike in breakfast mealie meal prices, among other grains.
“The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August, 2019, increased to 9.3 per cent from 8.8 per cent recorded in July, 2019. This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 9.3 per cent between August, 2018, and August, 2019,” Sikanyiti told journalists in Lusaka, Thursday.
“The increase in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to the food annual rate of inflation. The increase in the food annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to price increase in food items, such as breakfast meal, roller meal, maize grain and local rice.”
He explained that the mealie meal price hikes in the past few months had triggered a one percentage increase in the annual rate of food inflation, which fed into the overall annual rate of inflation.
“The year-on-year (annual) food inflation rate for August, 2019, was recorded at 10.3 per cent compared to 9.3 per cent recorded in July, 2019, indicating an increase of 1.0 percentage point. An increase in the food annual inflation rate was mainly attributed to price movements of food items, such as breakfast mealie meal, roller mealie meal, maize grain and local rice,” Sikanyiti disclosed.
And compared to the non-food annual rate of inflation, there was no movement in the period under review.
“The year-on-year (annual) non-food inflation rate for August, 2019, was recorded at 8.3 per cent same as in July, 2019. This means that on average, prices of non-food items increased by 8.3 per cent between August, 2018, and August, 2019,” he added.
Of the total 9.3 per cent annual inflation rate recorded in August, 2019, food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 5.5 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 3.8 percentage points, according to Sikanyiti.
CSO data reveals that Zambia’s annual rate of inflation of 9.3 per cent recorded this month is the highest on record since November, 2016, when inflation was at 8.8 per cent from 12.5 per cent in October, 2016, before it dropped to close 2016 at 7.5 per cent.
Zambia’s annual rate of inflation has continued soaring far above the Bank of Zambia’s (BoZ) targeted corridor of 6-8 per cent.