Inflationary pressure likely to persist

• This is due to lack of immediate interventions to reduce the cost of fuel and other essential commodities.
• High inflation is counter-productive to economic growth.
• 2024 national budget has not provided interventions that could give immediate solutions to high cost of fuel.

An Economist says the country’s inflationary pressure may persist due to lack of immediate interventions to reduce the cost of fuel and other essential commodities on the domestic market.
Speaking to Money FM News, Michelo Maunga said high inflation is counter-productive to economic growth because it reduces the value of income.
He noted that despite being progressive, the 2024 national budget has not provided some interventions that could give immediate solutions to the high cost of fuel in the country.
“Another risk I took note of is that inflation may persist because of the already mentioned aspect of energy and maize prices. High inflation is counter-productive to economic growth because the value of your income reduces.”
“However, the budget is very progressive and I am very confident that the economy will grow strength to strength in 2024,” Mr. Maunga stated.
And Mr. Maunga commended government for establishing fiscal prudence as the country’s revenues for 2023 are above target, while expenses are below projections.
“It is quite heartening to take note of the fiscal prudence that has been established by the UPND government, our revenues for the 2023 are above target, expenses are below target, the projected budget deficit is also nearly a target.”
“These are all encouraging signs but my only area of concern will be the lack of immediate measures to address the high cost of energy. This is not a call for the restoration of subsidies but there could have been some interventions that could provide immediate solutions to the high cost of fuel in the country,” he stated.
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 recent statistics released by Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats), the annual inflation rate for September 2023, accelerated to 12. 0 % from 10.8% in August, 2023.
ZamStats is expected to announce inflation figures for the month of October, 2023 on Thursday this week.

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