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Zambia Statistics Agency Rejects Misleading Inflation Claims and Unveils November 2023 Economic Report

In response to recent misleading statements circulating on social media regarding the country’s inflation rate, the Zambia Statistics Agency held a press conference today to set the record straight and provide insights into the latest economic developments.

The Zambia Statistics Agency reaffirms its commitment to maintaining high standards in the production of statistics, strictly adhering to international guidelines outlined in the Statistics Act no. 13 of 2018. 

The agency follows the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the Principles of the African Charter on Statistics in its data collection and reporting processes.

Addressing concerns about inflation figures, the agency emphasized that statistics such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are produced following meticulous methodologies endorsed by international organizations including the ILO, IMF, OECD, Eurostat, UNECE, and the World Bank.

As of November 2023, the overall monthly inflation stands at 0.9%, a slight increase from October’s 0.8%. Food inflation rose to 0.9%, with notable contributors being fish and vegetables. Non-food inflation held steady at 0.9%, influenced by garments and vehicle purchases.

The annual inflation rate for November 2023 reached 12.9%, reflecting increases in both food (13.7%) and non-food (11.8%) items. The agency provided a breakdown of inflation developments by province, indicating varied trends across regions.

Turning to international trade, the agency reported a 7.0% decrease in total trade for October 2023, amounting to K32.6 billion. A trade deficit of K1.0 billion was recorded, attributing the shift to decreases in exports, especially in refined copper.

Export earnings from refined copper fell by 14.8% to K9.2 billion, influenced by a 15.6% decrease in export volumes and a 4.0% drop in LME Copper prices.

Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) increased by 3.9%, with Agricultural NTEs declining by 17.5%, and Non-Agricultural NTEs decreasing by 11.8%.

Major export destinations included Switzerland (41.4%), Congo DR (16.0%), China (12.0%), and South Africa (5.7%). These countries collectively accounted for 75.0% of Zambia’s total export earnings.

The major sources of imports were South Africa (28.0%), China (16.4%), United Arab Emirates (9.6%), Japan (6.6%), and India (5.6%), constituting 66.3% of Zambia’s total import bill.

The Zambia Statistics Agency urges the public to rely on official statistics produced by the agency, reinforcing its commitment to transparency, accuracy, and adherence to international standards in data reporting. Interested parties are encouraged to engage directly with the agency to gain a comprehensive understanding of the statistical methodologies employed.

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