By Patrick Soko
Zambian inflation accelerated for an 11th straight month in February to the highest rate in more than three years as food prices keep climbing and the effects of fuel and electricity cost increase filter through to the economy.
Annual inflation quickened to 13.9% from 12.5% in January, Mulenga Musepa, the interim statistician general at the Zambia Statistics Agency, told Journalists on Thursday 27/o2/2020 in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the highest rate since September 2016. Prices rose by 1.9% in the month.
The rate of price growth is expected to remain high in the earlier part of the central bank’s two-year forecast period, Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya said last week.
While inflation has now been above the target band of 6% to 8% for ten months, good rainfall in some areas is expected to boost agricultural output and may cool inflation later.
The upside risks to the inflation outlook include further increases in corn prices, second-round effects of the jump in electricity tariffs and fuel prices and slow progress in reining in government spending, according to the central bank.