March 2008 Zambian Inflation rate - up again to 9.8 percent

The March 2008 Zambian inflation rate increased again to 9.8 percent from 9.5 percent recorded in February 2008.

Changes in annual inflation rates for CPI (Consumer Price Index) Main Groups

From February 2008 to March 2008, the annual inflation rates increased for clothing and footwear, furniture and household goods, medical care, transport and communication, recreation and education, other goods and services.

The March 2008 Zambian inflation rates declined for rent and household energy main group. However, the annual inflation rate for food, beverages and tobacco remained unchanged.

Contribution of different items to overall inflation

The increase of 0.3 of a percentage point in the annual inflation from February 2008 to March 2008 was as result of the increase in the cost of non-food products. In the March 2008 Zambia inflation figures, food products accounted for 4.5 percentage points while non-food products accounted for 5.3 percentage points.

Annual food inflation – 9.1 percent

The annual food inflation rate in March 2008 was recorded at 9.1 percent, the same as at February 2008.

The main contributors to the March 2008 Zambian inflation were increases in cost of maize meal, maize grain, other cereals and cereal products, meat, shelled ground nuts, fresh fruits, milk, eggs, oils and fats.

There were partial offsets in these increases by reductions in the cost of fresh vegetables, fish, dried kapenta, beans, tubers, table salt and other processed food products.

Annual Non-food inflation – 10.4 percent

The annual non-food inflation rate increased to 10.4 percent from 10.0 percent recorded in February 2008.

Maize grain and maize meal prices increased again in the month of March 2008

A comparison of retail prices between February 2008 and March 2008 indicated the following:

  • The price of a 20 liter tin of maize grain increased by 10.6 percent from K 18,083 to K 20,006.
  • The price of a 25 kg bag of roller meal increased by 9.6 percent, from K 31,603 to K 34,645.
  • The price of 1 kg of dried kapenta (Mpulungu) declined by 10.3 percent.
  • The price of 1 kg of tomatoes declined by 13.3 percent.

February 2008 Trade Surplus

In the month of February 2008 Zambia recorded a Trade Surplus of K 168.2 billion. This means that the country exported more in February 2008 than it imported in value terms.

Major Exports in February 2008

The five major exports which accounted for 88.1 percent of Zambia’s export earnings were as follows:

  • Copper and articles thereof accounted for 70.0 percent of total export earnings.
  • Base metals such as cobalt which are copper related accounted for 10.4 percent of total export earnings.
  • Ores, slag and ash accounted for 3.3 percent of total export earnings.
  • Cereals accounted for 2.7 percent of total export earnings.
  • Electrical Machinery equipment parts thereof: sound recorders etc accounted for 1.7 percent of total export earnings.

Major export destinations In February 2008

The seven major destinations of Zambia’s exports were the following:

Switzerland – 37.8 percent
China – 15.5 percent
South Africa – 6.5 percent
Democratic Republic of Congo 6.3 percent
Oman – 3.7 percent
Korea republic – 3.4 percent
Saudi Arabia – 3.3 percent

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