By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA’s annual inflation rate has continued to increase with January prices going up to 13.2 percent, as the country records a trade surplus of K6.2 billion for 2023.
This development was mainly attributed to price movements of selected non-food items.
On a monthly basis, retail prices between December 2023 and January 2024 showed that the national average price of a 25-kilogramme (kg) bag of breakfast mealie meal increased by 2.02 percent from K286.31 to K292.09.
This is according to an announcement made by the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats), Statistician General, Mr Mulenga Musepa, at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday.
“Annual inflation for January 2024 increased to 13.2 percent from 13.1 percent recorded in December, 2023. The price of a 25kg bag of roller mealie meal increased by 2.05 percent from K239.53 to K244.44.
“The monthly national average price of a 20-litre tin of maize grain increased by 9.49 percent from K145.99 to K159.84,” Mr Musepa said.
Meanwhile, Mr Musepa said the country in 2023 recorded a trade surplus of K6.2 billion. This is compared to K44.5 billion recorded in 2022.
He also stated that Zambia recorded a trade surplus of K0.7 billion in December 2023 compared to a deficit of K0.6 billion in November 2023.
“Exports mainly comprising domestically produced goods, increased by 14.6 percent to K 21.1 billion in December 2023 from K18.4 billion in November 2023. This was mainly on account of 21.4 percent increase in export earnings from Intermediate goods, respectively.
“Imports increased by 7.4 percent to K20.4 billion in December 2023 from K19.0 billion in November 2023. This was mainly as a result of 16.8 and 9.6 percent increases in import bills of consumer goods and Intermediate goods, respectively,” Mr Musepa said.