THE annual rate of inflation has increased to 17.4 per cent in November, up from 16 per cent recorded in October, mainly induced by huge price increases in food and non-food items, the highest on record since September, 2016, according to the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZSA).
Announcing Zambia’s annual rate of inflation for the month of November, ZSA Interim Statistician General Mulenga Musepa disclosed that the increased inflation this month was largely driven by significant price increases in food and non-food items, which include meat and chicken in the former, and vehicles in the latter.
“The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, 2020, increased to 17.4 per cent from 16.0 per cent recorded in October, 2020. This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 17.4 per cent between November, 2019, and November, 2020. The increase in the annual rate of inflation was attributed to price increases in both food and non-food items,” Musepa told journalists via video conference in Lusaka, Thursday.
He added that the increased annual food inflation rate, up by over two percentage points, was largely driven by price increases in meat, chicken, sugar and cooking oil, among others.
“The year-on-year food inflation rate for November, 2020, was recorded at 16.8 per cent from 14.6 per cent recorded in October, 2020, indicating an increase of 2.2 percentage points. This development was mainly attributed to increase in prices of food items such as vegetables, meats, chicken, fats & oil and sugar. The year-on-year non-food inflation rate for November, 2020, was recorded at 18.2 per cent compared to 17.7 per cent recorded in October, 2020, indicating an increase of 0.5 percentage points. The increase was mainly attributed to purchase of vehicles,” Musepa added.
Of the total 17.4 per cent annual inflation rate recorded this month, the food and non-alcoholic beverages group accounted for 9.0 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 8.4 percentage points.
ZSA data shows that Zambia’s annual rate of inflation of 17.4 per cent recorded this month peaked to an over 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.