SINGLE DIGIT INFLATION CLOSES YEAR

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By BUSINESS REPORTER

THE inflation rate for December increased to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent recorded in November this year, Central Statistical Office (CSO) acting director of census and statistics, Goodson Sinyenga has announced.

Mr Sinyenga said this meant that on average prices of goods and services increased by 7.9 percent December 2017 and December 2018.

He was speaking in Lusaka when he presented the CSO December 2018 monthly bulletin yesterday.

Mr Sinyenga said the increase in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to non-food items such as household furniture and transport.

The annual food inflation rate for December, he said, was recorded at 8.1 percent compared to 8.4 percent recorded in November 2018 indicating a decrease of 0.3 percentage points.

‘‘The year on year inflation rate as measured by the all items consumer index for December 2018 increased to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent recorded in November 2018,’’ he said.

He said the annual non-food inflation rate for December stood at 7.6 percent from 7.0 percent recorded in November 2018, indicated an increase of 0.6 percentage points.

Mr Sinyenga said the increase in the non-food inflation was mainly attributed to household furniture and furnishings and transport both airfare domestic and regional.

He also said Zambia’s trade deficit decreased by 35.7 percent from K2, 691.2 million recorded in October 2018 to K1, 729.5 million in November 2018.

Mr Sinyenga said this indicated that imports decreased by 12.0 percent from K11, 095.5 million in October 2018 to K9, 763.0 million in November, this year. He said this could be attributed to the decrease in the imports of intermediate goods by 42.3 percent from K3, 095.7 million in October 2018 to K1, 784.7 million in November 2018.

Mr Sinyenga said exports equally decreased at a slower rate of 4.4 percent from K8, 404.3 million in October 2018 to K8, 033.5 million in November 2018.

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