The January 2016 Zambian inflation rate increased to 21.8 per cent from 21.1 per cent recorded in December 2015.
This means that on average prices increased by 21.8 per cent between January 2015 and January 2016. The increase in the annual rate of inflation was as a result of increases in the prices of food and non-food items.
Food and non-alcoholic beverage products accounted for 13.3 percentage points whereas non-food products accounted for 8.5 percentage points.
The highest annual rate of inflation was recorded in items such as food and non-alcoholic beverages 13.3%, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance 2.3 % and the lowest annual rate of inflation was by the communication division and restaurant and hotel which recorded 0.01%.
Starting from January 2015 the Zambian annual inflation rate was in single digits until October 2015 when it shot to double digit as follows:
Of the overall annual inflation rate of 21.8 percent, Lusaka province contributed the highest at 6.1 percentage points seconded by the copperbelt province at 4.1 percentage points.
Southern province had 2.5, Central province recorded 2.4, Eastern province 2.2, Northern/Muchinga province 1.6 and Luapula province had 1.2 percentage points. The least contributors were North-Western and Western provinces, each contributing 0.9 percentage points.
Changes in retail prices of selected items between December 2015 and January 2016 were as follows:
The country recorded a trade deficit in December 2015 valued at K 778.8 Million which was a 36.2 percent decrease from the K 1, 220.9 Million recorded in November 2015. Zambia imported more than it imported in December 2015.
Copper cathodes and sections of refined copper accounted for 81.0 percent of total exports. The other exports accounting for 19.0 percent were consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods categories.
Major five export destinations countries accounting for 81.6 percent of total export earnings in December 2015 were Switzerland (53.9 %), China (12.3%), South Africa (6.3%), Congo DR (5.9%) and Zimbabwe (3.2%).
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