By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
THE annual inflation rate for January 2014 has gone up to 7.3 per cent as compared to the 7.1 per cent recorded in December last year.
Speaking during the the monthly briefing at Central Statistical Office (CSO) office yesterday, CSO director John Kalumbi said the country had recorded a 7.3 per cent increase in the prices of commodities.
Mr Kalumbi said the annual rate of inflation as measured by the
all-items consumer price index (CPI) increased to 136.32 per cent in
January 2014 from 127.08 per cent in the same period last year.
“Of the total 7.3 per cent annual inflation rate recorded in January 2014, food and non alcoholic beverage products accounted for a total of 4.2 percentage points while the food products accounted for 4.2 percentage point,” Mr Kalumbi said.
He said the annual rate of inflation for food and non alcoholic beverages dropped.
On the annual provincial inflation, North-western had the highest at 9.2 per cent, followed by Western at 8.4 per cent and Northern and Muchinga combined at 8.2 per cent while the lowest was Central at 5.5 per cent.
“Between January 2013 and January 2014 the annual rate of inflation increased for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, clothing, footwear, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance; health and communication,” he said.
Mr Kalumbi said that a comparison of retail prices between December and January showed that the national average price of a 25 kilogramme bag of the breakfast mealie meal increased by 5.7 per cent.
On balance of trade, the country recorded a trade surplus valued at K161 million in December 2013 from a trade surplus of K6 million recorded in November the same year.
Mr Kalumbi said this means that the country exported more in December
2013 than it imported in the same period in nominal terms.
Zambia’s major export products in December 2013 were from the intermediate goods categories, mainly comprising copper cathodes and sections of refined copper which accounted for 85.3 per cent.
Other exports were consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods which collectively accounted for 14.7 per cent of the total figures in December 2013.