THE annual rate of inflation has increased to 16 per cent in October, up from 15.7 per cent recorded in September, mainly induced by a jump in food prices, according to the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZSA).

Announcing Zambia’s annual rate of inflation for the month of October, ZSA Interim Statistician General Mulenga Musepa disclosed that the increased inflation this month was largely driven by significant price increases in food items, which include meat, chicken, cooking oil and sugar, among others.

“The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October, 2020, increased to 16.0 per cent from 15.7 per cent recorded in September, 2020. This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 16.0 per cent between October, 2019, and October, 2020. The increase in the annual rate of inflation was attributed to price increases in food items,” Musepa told journalists via video conference in Lusaka, Thursday.

He added that the increased annual food inflation rate, up by 0.6 percentage points, was largely driven by price increases in meat, chicken, cooking oil, among others.

“The year-on-year food inflation rate for October, 2020, was recorded at 14.6 per cent from 14.0 per cent recorded in September, 2020, indicating an increase of 0.6 percentage points. This development was mainly attributed to increase in prices of food items such as meats, chicken, cooking oil and sugar. The year-on-year non-food inflation rate for October, 2020, was recorded at 17.7 per cent, the same as that recorded in September 2020,” Musepa added.

Of the total 16 per cent annual inflation rate recorded this month, the food and nonalcoholic beverages group accounted for 7.9 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 8.1 percentage points, according to Musepa.

ZSA data shows that Zambia’s annual rate of inflation of 16 per cent recorded this month peaked to a five-month high since May, this year, when the rate was 16.6 per cent.

This month’s inflation rate also represents the second highest this year.