The annual rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has increased from 7.0 per cent recorded in May to 7.3 per cent recorded in June, 2013, representing a 0.3 percentage point increase.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) Acting Director of Census and Statistics, Peter Mukuka, attributed the rise in annual inflation to increases in prices of food and some non-food items.
Mr Mukuka told a media in Lusaka today that of the total 7.3 per cent annual inflation rate recorded in June 2013, food products accounted for 3.8 percentage points, while non-food products accounted for a total of 3.5 percentage points.
The CSO Acting Director said the annual food inflation rate was recorded at 7.1 per cent in June 2013 compared to 6.3 percent recorded in May, 2013, representing a 0.8 percentage points increase in annual food inflation.
Mr Mukuka said the annual rate of inflation increased for food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, health, transport and communication between June 2012 and June 2013.
He said the annual rate of inflation decreased for clothing and footwear, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, recreation and culture, education, restaurant and hotel and miscellaneous goods and services.
And a comparison of retail prices between May and June, 2013, showed that the national average price of a 25 kg bag of breakfast mealie meal increased by 2.1 per cent from KR 58.17 to KR 59.41 while the national average price of a 25 kg bag of roller meal increased by 0.2 per cent from KR 44.89 to KR 44.97.
The national average price of a 20 litre tin of maize grain decreased by 10.0 per cent from KR 25.15 to KR 22.64 between May and June, 2013, while the national average price of a 1 kg of fresh kapenta decreased by 1.7 per cent from KR 9.37 to KR 9.21.
The national average price of a 1kg bundle of rape decreased by 10.0 per cent from KR 3.71 to KR 3.34.
Meanwhile, Zambia recorded a trade surplus valued at KR 267.8 million in May 2013 from KR 329.5 million recorded in April, 2013.
Meanwhile, the Zambian kwacha slipped to a week’s low on Tuesday, breaching the KR5.5 mark against the US dollar.
Market analysts at Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank said the fall was on account of increased demand for the greenback.
According to Barclays Bank, there were no dollar inflows as most of the dollar suppliers still had enough local currency from their Value Added Tax refunds.
The bank further explained that strong US home sales data also supported a stronger dollar.
Normally, around this time of the month, the kwacha picks as most firms convert their dollars to meet their end of month salary and tax obligations.
Mr Mukuka said this meant that the country exported more in May, 2013, than it imported in nominal terms.
The country has continued to record trade surpluses since January 2013 with the highest valued at KR 329.5 per cent recorded in April 2013 and the lowest trade surplus was recorded in February, 2013, valued at KR 133.2 million.