• On average, prices of goods and services increased by 12.0 percent between September 2022 and September 2023.
• This was mainly due to price movements of selected food and non-food items.
• Zambia posted a trade surplus of K2.31 billion in August 2023 compared to K2.33 billion in July 2023.
Zambia continues to face inflationary pressure driven by price movements in both food and non-food items, despite efforts being made by government to improve the country’s economic performance.
According to latest statistics released by Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats), the annual inflation rate for September 2023, accelerated to 12. 0 % from 10.8% in August, 2023.
This means that on average, prices of goods and services increased by 12.0 percent between September 2022 and September 2023
Speaking during the monthly dissemination bulletin, ZamStats Statistician General Mulenga Musepa attributed the increase in inflation to price movements of selected food and non-food items.
Mr. Musepa explained that annual food inflation for September 2023 rose to 13.4 percent compared to 12.6 percent in the previous month mainly due to price movements in breakfast and roller meal, bread flour, maize grain, rice, as well as meats such as mixt cut, fillet steak, T-bone, and live chicken.
He noted that annual non-food inflation for September 2023 stood at 10.1 percent compared to 8.5 percent in August, mainly on account of increases in prices of Purchase of vehicles, diesel and petrol as well as Lubricants.
“The Consumer Price index (CPI) for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels group increased by 8.2 percent between September 2022 and September 2023. This was higher than the 5.7 percent recorded in the same month of 2022 and same as that recorded in August 2023.”
“Of the overall 12.0 percent annual inflation, the Food and Non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 7.7 percentage points, while the Non-food group accounted for 4.3 percentage points. Of the 4.3 percentage points,” Mr. Musepa noted.
Mr. Musepa further revealed that the CPI for Transport increased by 22.9 percent between September 2022 and September 2023, higher than 9.7 percent recorded in September 2022 and 13.3 percent recorded in August 2023.
“Transport contributed the highest at 1.6 followed by Housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels at 1.0 percentage points, Clothing & footwear and Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance at 0.6 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively. The rest of the Non-Food group accounted for the remaining 0.6 percentage points.
“A disaggregation of the annual inflation by province shows that the annual inflation during the month under review increased for all provinces.
“Of the overall 12.0 percent annual inflation, Lusaka province contributed the highest at 3.9 percentage points followed by Copperbelt and Central provinces which contributed 2.2 and 1.2 percentage points, respectively.”
“Eastern and southern provinces contributed 1.1 percentage points each, while North-western province had the lowest contribution of 0.4 percentage points,” Mr. Musepa stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Musepa disclosed that Zambia posted a trade surplus of K2.31 billion in August 2023 compared to K2.33 billion in July 2023, as total exports increased by 9.1 percent to K19.1 billion.
He attributed the recorded trade surplus to 7.9, 17.2, 16.2 and 13.1 percent increases in export earnings from Intermediate goods, raw materials, capital goods and consumer goods, respectively.
Mr. Musepa noted that imports rose by 10.7 percent to K16.8 billion in August 2023 from K15.1 billion in July 2023.
“This was mainly as a result of 12.4, 19.8, 5.0 and 6.7 percent increases in import bills of Consumer goods Capital goods, Intermediate goods, and Raw materials, respectively.”
He said traditional exports mainly copper rose by 4.6% to K11.8 billion in August 2023, while Non-Traditional Exports such as electrical energy, dumpers for off-highway use and Oil cake, increased by 17.3% to K7.2 billion in the same period.
“The cumulative total trade for the period January to August 2023 was K268.9 billion while that of 2022 for the same period was K234.8 billion representing a 14.5 percent increase,” he noted.
Mr. Musepa added that the total value of exports through all modes of transport for the period January to August 2023 was K138.5 billion, with road transport accounting for the highest at K66.5 billion representing 48.0 percent share.
“Rail transport was second at K5.9 billion, 4.3 percent and Air transport was third accounting for K 3.2 billion or 2.3 percent. Other modes of transport accounted for K62.8 billion, representing 45.4 percent.”
And Mr. Musepa disclosed that export earnings from agricultural products increased by 33.6 percent to K2.4 billion in August 2023 from K1.8 billion in July 2023, with major export commodities being Oil-cake of soya-bean, other raw cane sugar, and Tobacco.
He said non-agricultural products accounted for a share of 67.2 percent of Zambia’s Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) in August 2023 compared to 71.2 percent in July 2023.
“Export earnings from non-agricultural products increased by 10.7 percent to K4.9 billion in August 2023 from K4.4 billion in July 2023. The major export commodities were Electrical energy accounting for 14.3 percent, Dumpers for off-highway use at 11.4 percent and Sulphur of all kinds at 7.0 percent,” he said.