By JUDITH NAMUTOWE –
THE value of Zambia’s trade deficit for September 2017 exponentially widened to more than K2 billion from the K484.3 million recorded in August this year.
The K2, 055.6-million deficit has been attributed to a sharp decrease in the volume of copper exports.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) director John Kalumbi told journalists in Lusaka that this implies that the country imported more in September, 2017 than it exported in nominal terms.
“The deficit is mainly on account of copper exported and its corresponding revenue as copper accounts for the largest weight in the export profile,” Mr Kalumbi said.
Mr Kalumbi said the deficit widened because the export volume decreased to 61,000 tonnes in September compared to 85,000 tonnes which the country recorded in August 2017.
In July this year, the country recorded a trade surplus valued at K410.6 million after about two years of being in deficit.
The trade surplus then which was attributed to improved copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) entailed that the country had exported more than it imported in July.
And Zambia’s annual rate of inflation has been recorded at 6.4 per cent in the month of October 2017, compared to 6.6 per cent which was recorded in September this year.
Of the total 6.4 per cent annual inflation rate recorded in October 2017, food and non- alcoholic beverages accounted for 2.6 percentage points, while non-food items accounted for a total of 3.8 percentage points.
Mr Kalumbi said this meant that on average, prices increased by 6.4 per cent between October 2016 and October 2017.
“The movement of consumer price indices show a steady increasing trend in the prices of commodities during the period of October 2016 to October 2017,” he said.
He said that the downward movement in the annual inflation rate was mainly attributed to price movements in both food and non-food items.
Mr Kalumbi said in terms of provincial contributions, Lusaka had the highest contribution of 1.8 percentage points while Luapula had lowest contribution of 0.2 percentage points.