The annual rate of inflation has jumped to 12.5 per cent in January, up from 11.7 per cent recorded in December, the highest on record since October 2016, according to the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZSA).
Announcing Zambia’s annual rate of inflation for the month of January, ZSA Interim Statistician General Mulenga Musepa said the continued rise in inflation this month was largely attributable to increased food and non-food prices.
“The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January, 2020, increased to 12.5 per cent from 11.7 per cent recorded in December, 2019. This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 12.5 per cent between January, 2019, and January, 2020,” Musepa told journalists in Lusaka, Thursday.
“The increase in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to price increase in both food and non-food items.”
He added that both the food and non-food inflation rate had increased, which fed into the overall annual rate of inflation, mainly on account of rising fuel prices and electricity tariffs.
“The year-on-year (annual) food inflation rate for January, 2020, was recorded at 15.4 per cent compared to 15.2 per cent recorded in December, 2019. This development was mainly attributed to price movements of food items, such as bukabuka, dried bream, dried kapenta mpulungu, cooking oil and fruits (such as oranges, pineapples and pawpaw),” Musepa said.
“The year-on-year (annual) non-food inflation rate for January, 2020, was recorded at 9.4 per cent compared to 7.8 per cent recorded in December, 2019, indicating an increase of 1.6 percentage points. This increase was mainly attributed to items such as electricity, diesel and petrol.”
Of the total 12.5 per cent annual inflation rate recorded this month, food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 8.1 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 4.4 percentage points, according to Musepa.
ZSA data reveals that Zambia’s annual rate of inflation of 12.5 per cent recorded this month peaked to an over three-year high since October, 2016, when inflation was equally at 12.5 per cent before it dropped to close 2016 at 7.5 per cent.
Zambia’s annual rate of inflation has sustained a rise far above the Bank of Zambia’s (BoZ) targeted corridor of 6-8 per cent, and started the New Year in double-digit territory.