• The upward movement in the basket is attributed to increased prices in food items.
January saw an increase in mealie meal prices.
• JCTR remains concerned about the high cost of living.
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has disclosed that the cost of living for a family of five in Lusaka increased by K230.75 in February 2023 to K9, 278 compared to K9, 047.31 recorded in January, 2023.
Centre Social & Economic Development (SED) Programme Manager Muchimba Siamachoka attributed the rise the Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket to increased prices in food items such as 14kg of other fruits, 16kg bananas, 1kg kapenta, 6kg cassava flour and 4kg rice.
Ms. Siamachoka stated that in the non-food basket item, there was a significant decrease in the price of two 90kg bags of charcoal, which she said could partially be attributed to the reduced load shedding in the country, amongst other factors.
“The upward movement in the basket is attributed to increased prices in food items such as 14kg of other fruits which went up by K320.82, 16kg bananas which went up by K90.26, 1kg kapenta which went up by K88.68, 6kg cassava flour which went up by K66.34 and 4kg rice which went up by K24.15,” Ms. Siamachoka disclosed.
She noted that there was an increase in mealie meal prices in January 2023, which resulted in a rise in the cost of substitutes such as rice and cassava flour in February, 2023.
“It is worth noting that the prices of other fruits, such as mango, apple, orange, and guava (price based on the cheapest fruit in a given season), increased as mangoes went out of season.
“JCTR remains concerned about the high cost of living. The JCTR observes that during the month under review, the Energy Regulation Board pump price of petroleum products rose significantly while the local currency continued to depreciate against major currencies such as the dollar,” she stated.