The annual Inflation Rate increased by 3.4 percent

Martin Endjala

Namibia’s annual inflation rate for housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel components, which account for 28.4 percent of the consumer basket, saw a significant improvement as it registered a 3.4 percent increase in December 2023 compared to the 2.1 percent observed in December 2022.

The country’s overall annual inflation rate stood at 5.3 percent in December 2023, showing a decline from the 6.9 percent recorded in December 2022.

Every month, the inflation rate for December 2023 recorded a deflation of 0.1 percent, a decrease from the 0.3 percent recorded in the preceding month.

These statistics are based on the Namibia Consumer Price Index (NCPI) report recently released by the Namibia Statistics Agency.

In December 2023, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 0.5 percent every month, remaining unchanged from the previous month.

Alex Shimuafeni, the Statistician-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Statistics Agency, highlighted that the major contributors to the annual inflation rate of 5.3 percent in December 2023 were food and non-alcoholic beverages at 1.4 percentage points, while alcoholic beverages and tobacco contributed 1.1 percentage points.

Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels accounted for 0.8 percentage points, and transport contributed 0.6 percentage points.

The annual inflation rate for goods was estimated at 6.8 percent, while the annual inflation rate for services stood at 3.1 percent.

The average annual inflation rate for the period from December 2022 to December 2023 was 6.0 percent.

The twelve-month average annual inflation rate from January 2023 to December 2023 was estimated at 5.9 percent.

Shimuafeni noted that the lowest rate, -0.1 percent, was observed in December 2023 during this period.

Meanwhile, the highest changes in the annual inflation rate were mainly witnessed in the categories of recreation and culture at 10.0 percent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 8.4 percent, and food and non-alcoholic beverages at 7.4 percent.

Additionally, hotels, cafés, and restaurants stood at 6.5 percent, furnishings, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house at 5.1 percent, and miscellaneous goods and services at 4.9 percent, with transport coming in at 4.0 percent.

Regarding the food sub-category, which accounts for 14.8 percent of the consumer basket in the NCPI, bread and cereals accounted for the highest weight of food items purchased, with a weight of 4.8 percent, followed by meat at 3.5 percent, and sugar, jam, honey, syrups, chocolate, and confectionery at 1.4 percent. Vegetables and milk, cheese, and eggs each scored 1.2 percent.

On average, the prices of oils and fats declined by 2.2 percent in December 2023 compared to the growth of 20.8 percent recorded a year ago. The decrease in the annual inflation rate for this subcategory was mainly observed in cooking oil, which went from 28.1 percent to -7.5 percent, cooking fats from 14.2 percent to -3.0 percent, and margarine and margarine spreads from 9.8 percent to 3.6 percent.

Bread and cereals prices increased by 1.9 percent in December 2023, a slower increase when compared to the 18.2 percent witnessed during the same month in the previous year.

The slow growth in the annual inflation rate of this subcategory was mainly observed in the price levels of maize meal/grain, which went from 32.5 percent to -6.2 percent, bread, and cake flour from 25.3 percent to -1.8 percent, while mealie rice/malt stood at 15.3 percent to 4.8 percent, and bread from 16.5 percent to 7.1 percent.

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