THE annual rate of inflation has marginally increased to 15.7 per cent in September, up from 15.5 per cent recorded in August, mainly induced by price increases in non-food items, according to the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZSA).
Announcing Zambia’s annual rate of inflation for the month of September, ZSA Interim Statistician General Mulenga Musepa said that the increased inflation this month was largely driven by price increases in non-food items, which include motor vehicles and higher household rentals.
“The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September, 2020, increased to 15.7 per cent from 15.5 per cent recorded in August, 2020. This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 15.7 per cent between September, 2019, and September, 2020. The increase in the annual rate of inflation was attributed to price increases in non-food items,” Musepa told journalists via video conference in Lusaka, Thursday.
He added that the increased annual non-food inflation rate, up by 2.3 percentage points, was largely driven by price increases in vehicles, higher rentals and household furniture.
“The year-on-year non-food inflation rate for September, 2020, was recorded at 17.7 per cent from 15.4 per cent recorded in August, 2020. The increase in the annual non-food inflation rate was mainly attributed to price increases in purchase of motor vehicles, household furniture and actual rentals for housing,” Musepa added.
“The year-on-year food inflation rate for September, 2020, was recorded at 14.0 per cent compared to 15.5 per cent recorded in August, 2020, indicating a decrease of 1.5 percentage points. This development was mainly attributed to reductions in prices of food items, such as cereals.”
Of the total 15.7 per cent annual inflation rate recorded this month, non-food items accounted for 8.2 percentage points, while the food and non-alcoholic beverages group accounted for 7.5 percentage points, according to Musepa.
ZSA data shows that Zambia’s annual rate of inflation of 15.7 per cent recorded this month, peaked to a near four-year high since September, 2016, when inflation was at 18.9 per cent, reducing to 12.5 per cent in October, 2016, before it dropped to close that year at 7.5 per cent.
This month’s inflation also represents the fourth highest this year after peaking at 16.6 per cent in May.