January 2009 Zambian Inflation Rate Was 16 percent

The January 2009 Zambian Inflation rate dropped to 16 percent, from 16.6 percent recorded in December 2008.

Efreda Chulu, who is the Central Statistical Office (CSO) director, said the decline in the annual inflation rate was due to reductions in the cost of mealie meal, petroleum products and bus fares.

Releasing the figures of the January 2009 Zambia inflation on 2nd February 2009 in Lusaka, Ms. Chulu said that prices for food, beverages, transport, other goods and services had gone up from December 2008 to January 2009, but declined for rent and household energy, medical care and education.

In the month of January 2009 , food products accounted for 10.3 percentage points while non-food products in the consumer price index (CPI) accounted for 5.7 percentage points.

The annual food inflation increased to 21.3 percent in January 2009, up from 20.5 percent in December 2008.

Ms. Chulu said, “contributing mostly to the food inflation were the increases in the cost of cereals and other cereal products, meat, vegetables, dried beans, shelled groundnuts, Irish potatoes, cooking oil, tea, coffee and other processed products.” She further said that partially offsetting these increases were the reductions in the cost of mealie meal.

December 2008 trade surplus of K 32.4 billion

According to Ms. Chulu, Zambia recorded a trade surplus of K 32.4 billion in December 2008. The total value of exports stood at K 1,320.6 billion in December 2008 compared to K 1,406.5 billion in November 2008. The total value of imports in December 2008 was K1, 288.2 billion compared to K1,743.7 billion in November 2008.

Prominent exports

The prominent exports were goods classified chiefly by material, accounting for 60.4 percent in December 2008 and 61.8 percent in November 2008, respectively, of which refined copper was the most significant export item.

Major destinations for exports

Switzerland, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Condo, Egypt and the United Kingdom, were the major destinations of exports in December 2008. These accounted for 82.6 percent of Zambia’s total export earnings.

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