The annual Zambian inflation rate for March 2018 was recorded at 7.1 percent. This was below the target year-end rate for 2018 of 8 percent!
The inflation target in the range of 6.0 to 8.0 per cent for 2018 was announced by the then Minister of Finance Felix C. Mutati, MP on 30 September 2017.
To have an idea of how the actual inflation rate will be for 2018, let's look at the previous years' performances. This will give us insight of where we are coming from and where we are going.
The inflation target for 2017 was set at 9 percent and the year closed at 6.1 per cent.
In the year 2016, the annual rate of inflation was targeted at 7 per cent and December 2016, was close on target, closing the year at 7.5 percent.
The 2015 annual rate of inflation was targeted at 7 per cent. However, due to external pressures such falling international copper prices, the actual achievement in December 2015 was 21.1 per cent.
In the year 2012, the Zambian government missed the set inflation target for the year 2012. December 2012 closed at 7.3 per cent against the predicted target of 7.0 per cent.
The country was aiming for 7 percent in 2011. The actual turned out to be 7.2 percent.
In the year 2010, the year-end inflation was set at 8.0 percent. Come the month of December 2010, Zambia's inflation rate closed at 7.9 percent.
The 2009 Zambia inflation projection was fairly accurate. The year closed at 9.9 percent. The inflation target was projected at 10 percent.
The 2008 Zambia inflation target was set at 7 percent. By December 2008, the inflation rate was 16.6 percent, missed by 9.6 percent!
Maybe you have wondered about that! Incidentally, the inflation figures are released monthly by the Central Statistics Office in Lusaka.
The items in the food basket include such items as mealie meal (both breakfast and roller meal), maize, vegetables, meats, kapenta, beans, fish, electricity… in fact anything that impacts on the cost of living of Zambians!.
The percentage increase in yearly price movements for these products is monitored. Actually the inflation rate which is announced every month is the average of the monthly price movements of the previous 12 months.
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