February 2009 Zambian Inflation Rate dropped by 2 percent

The February 2009 Zambian Inflation rate dropped down again to 14 percent from 16 percent in January 2009.

In fact, the February 2009 Zambia inflation was the lowest since August 2008 when the rate was recorded at 13.2 percent.

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) which released the figures on 26th February 2009 said the reduction in the Inflation rate was due to a decline in prices of commodities such as mealie meal, fresh vegetables and fish.

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) acting director William Mayaka explained that between January 2009 and February 2009, the annual inflation reduced for food, beverages and tobacco.

On the other hand, the inflation rate for clothing, household, medical services and transport increased.

Mayaka said food products accounted for 8.0 percentage points, while non-food products in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accounted for 6.0 percentage points.

Other components affecting the February 2009 Zambian inflation were as follows:

Annual food inflation rate

The annual food inflation rate reduced from 21.3 percent in January 2009 to 16.3 percent in February 2009. Contributing most to the reductions were reductions in the cost of mealie meal, fish, Kapenta and fresh vegetables. Offsetting the reductions were increases in the cost of other cereals and cereal products, meat, eggs, dried beans, shelled groundnuts, sugar, tea, coffee and other processed food products.

Annual non-food inflation rate

The annual non-food inflation rate increased from 11.1 percent in January 2009 to 11.7 percent in February 2009.

Prices of selected items

Here are some of the selected retail prices: The average price of a 25 kg bag of white roller meal reduced by 10.8 percent, from K 49,118 to K 43,832, while the price of a 25 kg bag of breakfast meal reduced by 9.7 percent, from K 59,311 to K 53,576.The national price of a 25 liter tin of maize grain increased by 2.7 percent, from K 28,185 to K 28,935. The national average price of 1 kg of dried kapenta reduced by 3.1 percent, while that of 1 kg of rape reduced by 11.4 percent.

Trade deficit of K 237.8 billion

Zambia recorded a trade deficit of K 237.8 billion in January 2009. The total value of exports in January 2009 was K 1,117.9 billion, compared to K 1,322.60 billion in December 2008. The total value of imports was K 1,355.7 billion.

The major export product in January 2009 was copper and articles, which accounted for 61 percent of the country’s total export earnings.

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