Annual inflation hits upward trajectory

By Hilary Mare

NAMIBIA’S annual inflation rate for March 2021 stood at 3.1 percent, up from 2.4 percent recorded in March 2020, an increase of 0.8 percentage points,” Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) Statistician-General and CEO Alex Shimuafeni has said.
The growth in the annual inflation rate for March 2021 was mainly as a result of increases recorded in the price levels of Food and non-alcoholic beverages (from 2.9 percent to 6.6 percent); Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (from -0.3 percent to 1.1 percent); Communication (from 1.1 percent to 3.3 percent); Alcoholic beverages and tobacco (from 2.0 percent to 3.8 percent); Health (from 2.3 percent to 3.7 percent) and Miscellaneous goods and services (from 6.1 percent to 6.4 percent).
“The monthly inflation rate increased to 0.5 percent in March 2021 compared to 0.4 percent obtained during the previous month,” Shimuafeni noted.
The zonal inflation rates for the month of March 2021 revealed that, Zone 1 (Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi) recorded annual inflation rate of 2.9 percent, Zone 2 (Khomas) obtained 3.0 percent and Zone 3 (//Kharas, Erongo, Hardap and Omaheke) registered 3.7 percent. On a monthly basis, Zone 1 and Zone 2 both recorded 0.5 percent while Zone 3 monthly inflation rate was 0.4 percent.
“More than 9 000 prices of goods and services are collected on a monthly basis from more than 900 retail outlets in eight localities. Analysis of the average retail prices of selected products for the month of March 2021 shows that for maize meal packaged for 2.5kg, Zone two recorded the lowest price of N$34.32 followed by Zone one at N$36.59.
“For cooking oil of 750 ml, consumers in Zone one paid the lowest at N$21.61 while the highest price was observed in Zone three at N$22.72. Further it was observed that the average price of one liter of milk between the zones varies slightly, with Zone three recording the highest at N$21.05 while the lowest was observed in Zone two at N$19.91,” explained Shimuafeni.