Inflation rises by 6.6%, hits 14.3%

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THE annual inflation rate for October has hit double digits, rising to 14.3 per cent from 7.7 per cent recorded last month.

Central Statistical Office director of census and statistics John Kalumbi disclosed yesterday that the increase in the annual rate of inflation, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI), was attributed to both food and non-food items.

The CPI measures changes, over time, in the general level of prices of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption.

According to the CSO, the annual food inflation rate for this month was recorded at 16.2 per cent, compared to the 8.1 per cent recorded last month, thereby projecting an increment of 8.1 per cent.

It further highlights that the annual non-food inflation for this month rose by 5.1 per cent from last month’s 7.3 per cent to 12.4 per cent this October.

CSO data also shows that between October 2014 and October 2015, transport recorded the highest annual rate of inflation at 23.8 percent, followed by recreation and culture at 19.8 per cent.

Communication recorded the lowest annual rate of inflation at 1.2 per cent. The increase in the annual rate of inflation of transport, according to Kalumbi, was mainly attributed to increases in motor vehicle purchase.

In January, inflation was at 7.9 per cent, but has since soared by 6.4 per cent, due to price increases of basic goods.

And Kalumbi said the CSO has professional ethics to uphold and that it will not manipulate figures to suit a sitting government.

“…They (non-governmental data collection agencies) are not adding value to what we are doing currently; of course we are partners in terms of monitoring poverty reduction. So, I can just assure you that we undertake our data collection and indeed compilation process using international standards. So, at no time can we depart and start using shortcuts,” Kalumbi told journalists.
Meanwhile, Zambia has recorded a trade deficit amounting to K1,819.5 million in September 2015 from a trade deficit of K725.3 million recorded in August 2015, posting a 150.9 per cent increase.

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