By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA’S annual inflation rate has climbed to 10.2 percent in April due to a rise in prices of selected non-food items, as the country records K2.8 billion trade deficit.
The annual inflation for April 2023, increased to 10.2 percent from 9.9 percent recorded in March 2023, Zambia Statistical Agency (ZamStats) interim statistician General, Mulenga Musepa, said.
This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 10.2 percent between April 2022 and March 2023.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, Mr Musepa indicated that annual food inflation for April 2023 was recorded at 11.6 percent from 11.8 percent the previous month.
He said this development was mainly attributed to prices movements in fish, fruits, cooking oil and live chicken.
Mr Musepa said annual non-food inflation for April increased to 8.3 percent from 7.3 percent in March 2023.
This development was mainly attributed to increases in prices of non-food items such household appliances be purchase of motor vehicles such as Toyota Hilux, Nissan ALMERA 1.5 L Acenta MT, Nissan Pick (Nissan Hard body).
He said that of the overall 10.2 percent annual inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 6.6 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for 3.6 percentage points.
“Of the 3.6 percentage points, transport contributed the highest at 1.0 percentage points, followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, and clothing and footwear at 0.9 and 0.5 percentage points each,” Mr Musepa said.
He said the rest of the non- food group accounted for the remaining 1.2 percentage points.
Mr Musepa indicated that Lusaka province contributed the highest at 3.4 percentage points to the overall annual inflation of 10.2 percent in April 2023.
Copperbelt and Central provinces was at 1.9 and 1.0 percentage points each in the month under review.
He pointed out that Eastern and Southern Province contributed 0.9 percentage points each, while North-Western province had the lowest contributions of 0.3 percentage points.
On trade, Mr Musepa indicated that cumulative total trade for the period January to March 2023 was K106.2 billion, while that of 2022 for the same period was K87.5 billion, representing a 21.3 percent increase.
“The total volume of exports via all modes for the period January to March 2023 was 2,388.0 million tonnes of which road transport accounted for 1,276.7 million tonnes, representing 53.5 percent.
“Rail transport accounted for 13.1 thousand tonnes, representing 0.5 percent, air transport accounted for 0.9 thousand tonnes, while other modes accounted for 1,097.3 thousand tonnes,” he said.