The December 2008 Zambian inflation stood at 16.6 percent at the close of the year 2008.
However, the month of November 2008 recorded 15.3 percent. This meant that the annual inflation went up by 1.3 percent between the two months.
What contributed to the rise in the December 2008 Zambian inflation?
Central Statistics Office (CSO) director Efreda Chulu said the increment in the inflation rate was mainly due to the increase of prices in food and energy.
For example, the cost of a 20 liter of maize which was K23, 310 in November 2008 went up to K 26,465 in the month of December 2008. The cost of a 25 kilogram breakfast mealie meal was K 57,486 in November 2008 and reached K 60,442 in December 2008.
In the month of December 2008, a reduction of prices was recorded in respect of fuel and mealie-meal.
The CSO director said these reductions were not captured in the month of December 2008 but will be reflected in the figures for January 2009. The reason for this, according to the director was that the price reductions were effected outside the consumer price index data collection period.
During the month of December 2008, food products accounted for 9.9 percent, while the non-food products accounted for 6.7 percent, bringing the figure to the recorded rate of 16.6 percent annual inflation.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the November 2008 month recorded lower exports than imports, resulting in a trade deficit of K 337.2 billion. The total value of imports in October 2008 and November 2008 were K 1,548 billion and K 1,743 billion respectively.
Which were the major export destinations?
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) accounted for 24.9 percent in November 2008 followed by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which accounted for 17.2 percent.
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