Housing and utility prices increased significantly

Martin Endjala

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency’s annual inflation rate for September 2023, Consumer Index for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels component has increased from 2.1 to 3.0 percent, accounting for 28.4 percent of the consumer spending.

The increase in the annual inflation rate for this category was mainly reflected in the subgroup of Electricity, gas, and other fuels which registered 7.7 percent compared to 5.0 percent witnessed in September 2022, and rental payments of dwellings recorded 2.1 percent compared to 1.4 percent recorded in September of the preceding year.

During September 2023, Statistician-General and Chief Executive Officer Alex Shimuafeni indicated that the annual inflation rate stood at 5.4 percent compared to the 7.1 percent witnessed in September 2022.

On a monthly basis, the inflation rate for September 2023 recorded 0.8 percent compared to 0.4 percent observed in the preceding month.

Shimuafeni said analysis of the average retail prices of selected products for September 2023 revealed that consumers in Zone 1 paid the highest price for Diesel per litre at N$21.26 while both Zone 2 and Zone 3 paid N$21.18 per litre.

Consumers in Zone 2 paid the highest price for white bread at N$14.55 followed by Zone 1 at N$14.24, while Zone 3 paid the lowest price of N$13.16.

Zone One consists of regions such as Kavango West and East, Kunene, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana, Ohsikoto, Otjozondjupa and Zambezi. Zone Two only has the Khomas Region, while Zone Three consists of the //Karas, Erongo, Hardap and Omaheke regions.

Furthermore, food and non-alcoholic beverages which account for 16.5 per cent of the NCPI basket, registered an annual inflation rate of 9.8 per cent during September 2023, compared to 9.3 per cent registered during the corresponding period of 2022.

The food sub-category accounts for 14.8 per cent of the consumer basket in the NCPI and within the food sub-component, bread, and cereals accounts for the highest weight of Food items that consumers purchase, having a weight of 4.8 percent followed by Meat at 3.5 percent, Sugar, jam, honey, syrups, chocolate, and confectionery 1.4 percent while vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs 1.2 percent each.

On average, fish prices increased by 16.9 per cent in September 2023, but the largest rise was observed in dried, smoked, or salted fish and seafood from -4.7 percent to 12.8 percent and fresh, chilled, and frozen fish from 6.6 percent to 18.9 percent.

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