October inflation up by 7.1 percent

• By Erasmus Shalihaxwe

THE annual inflation rate for the month of October increased by 7.1 percent compared to 3.6 percent recorded in October 2021. On a month to month basis, the inflation rate increased by 0.2 percent compared to 0.1 percent recorded a month earlier.

This statistics are contained in the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) October report titled the Namibia Consumer Price Index Bulletin released early this month by Statistician-General & Chief Executive Officer, Alex Shimuafeni.

The report indicates that transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages components continued to be the main contributors to the annual inflation rate with a contribution of 2.6 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points, respectively.

The Zonal inflation rates for the month of October revealed that, Zone 2 which is Khomas recorded the highest annual inflation rate of 7.8 percent followed by Zone 3 which includes Hardap, Omaheke, //Karas, and Erongo regions at 6.8 percent and Zone 1 which has the likes of Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi regions, which recorded an annual inflation rate of 6.5 percent on a monthly basis.

Zone 1 and 2 recorded an inflation rate of 0.2 percent each, while Zone 3 recorded the monthly inflation rate of 0.1 percent.

“Analysis of the average retail prices of selected products for the month of October revealed that consumers in Zone 3 paid the highest price for Pure sunflower oil (750 ml) at N$ 41.85, followed by Zone 2 at N$ 41.37, while consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price of N$ 39.18.

For brown sugar (1 kg), consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price at N$ 17.49, while the highest price was paid by consumers in Zone 2 at N$ 18.92,” Shimuafeni said.

He said that the highest changes in the annual inflation rate were mainly witnessed in the categories of Transport with 17.8 percent, Hotels, cafes, and restaurants 10.6 per cent; Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 9.6 percent, Food and non-alcoholic beverages 9.1 per cent; Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 6.7 percent and Recreation and culture 5.2 percent.

Shimuafeni added that the annual percentage change for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and other fuels component which accounts for 28.4 percent of the consumer basket, increased by 2.3 percent during October compared to 1.1 percent registered during the same period of the preceding year.

While the highest percentage changes in this category during October were mainly observed in the sub-categories of Regular Maintenance and Repair of Dwelling at 7.2 percent; Electricity, Gas and other fuels was at 6.4 percent; Water supply, Sewerage Services and refuse collection at 2.8 percent and Rental payment for dwelling recorded at 1.4 percent. The monthly inflation for this category remained unchanged at 0.1 percent.

“Food and non-alcoholic beverages which accounts for 16.5 percent of the NCPI basket recorded an annual inflation rate of 9.1 percent during the period under review compared to 5.2 percent registered during same period last year. On a monthly basis, price levels for this category increased by 0.7 percent during the period under review compared to 0.6 percent recorded a month earlier. Food sub-category accounts for 14.8 percent of the consumer basket in the CPI,” explained Shimuafeni.

He said within the food sub-category, bread, and cereals accounted for the highest weight of food items that consumers purchase, having a weight of 4.8 percent followed by meat with 3.5 percent; Sugar, jam, honey, syrups, chocolate and confectionery 1.4 percent.

“Vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs were recorded at 1.2 percent per each item. The increase was reflected mainly in the price levels of Cooking oil that escalated from 26.4 percent to 34.2 percent, Margarine from 8.9 percent to 15.6 percent and Peanut butter from 1.2 percent to 2.1 percent.

“The price levels of fruits increased by 21.6 percent in October this year, compared to 15.4 percent recorded in October 2021. The increase in the annual inflation rate for this subcategory was mainly observed in the price levels of Citrus fruits from 5.9 percent to 21.5 percent; Watermelons from 3.2 percent to 24.7 percent and dried fruits from 4.1 percent to 12.7 percent. Bread and cereals prices increased by 10.2 percent during October 2022 compared to 1.3 percent recorded same period of the preceding year,” concluded Shimuafeni.