The annual rate of inflation has marginally increased to 10.8 per cent in November, up from 10.7 per cent recorded in October, the highest on record since October, 2016, according to Central Statistical Office (CSO) data.
Announcing Zambia’s annual rate of inflation for the month of November, CSO Interim Statistician General Mulenga Musepa said the continued rise in inflation this month was largely attributable to increased food prices, mainly maize products such as mealie meal, which had again shot up for a fifth successive time to a national average of K150.49 per 25Kg breakfast bag, an all-time high.
“The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, 2019, increased to 10.8 per cent from 10.7 per cent recorded in October, 2019, indicating an increase of 0.1 percentage point. This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 10.8 per cent between November, 2018, and November, 2019,” Musepa told journalists in Lusaka, Thursday.
“The increase in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to price increases in food items.”
He explained that the sustained mealie meal price increments in the past few months had triggered a marginal increase in the annual food inflation rate of 0.2 percentage points, which fed into the overall annual rate of inflation.
“The year on year (annual) food inflation rate for November, 2019, was recorded at 13.5 per cent compared to 13.3 per cent recorded in October, 2019, indicating an increase of 0.2 percentage points. This development was mainly attributed to price movements of food items, such as breakfast mealie meal, roller mealie meal, maize grain, local rice, imported rice, Buka Buka and frozen fish,” Musepa disclosed.
Of the total 10.8 per cent annual inflation rate recorded this month, food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 7.1 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 3.7 percentage points, according to Musepa.
CSO data reveals that Zambia’s annual rate of inflation of 10.8 per cent recorded this month peaked to an over three-year high since October, 2016, when inflation was 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 is firmly into double-digit territory before the end of this year.
Earlier this month, however, the BoZ hiked the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 125 basis points to 11.50 per cent from 10.25 per cent to arrest the escalating inflation and bring it back into the targeted corridor.