Transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages lead June inflation

Tujoromajo Kasuto

Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) Consumer Price Index Bulletin for June 2022, reveals that the annual inflation rate increased to 6% compared to 4.1 percent recorded in June 2021, with transport and food and non-alcoholic beverages contributing the most with 2.7 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points, respectively.

According to NSA Statistician-General, Alex Shimuafeni the Zonal inflation rates for the month of June 2022 revealed that Zone 2 (Khomas) recorded the highest annual inflation rate of 6.7 percent,

followed by Zone 1 (Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi) and Zone 3 (Hardap, Omaheke, //Karas and Erongo) which recorded an annual inflation rate of 5.6 percent each.

‘’On a monthly basis, Zone 1 and Zone 3 each recorded an increase of 1.1 percent while Zone 2 recorded a monthly inflation rate of 0.9 percent. Analysis of the average retail prices of selected products for the month of June 2022 revealed that consumers in Zone 2 paid the highest price for lemons (loose, per kg) at N$29.93 followed by Zone 3 at N$24.50, while consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price of N$23.34,’’ said Shimuafeni.

The bulletin stated further that for Pure Sunflower Oil (750ml), consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price of N$39.17, while consumers in Zone 3 paid the highest price of N$40.85.

This comes as oil and fat prices increased by 26.2 percent in June 2022, compared to 16.7 percent in 2021.

The price of cooking fats increased from 11.9 percent to 26.0 percent; cooking oil increased from 26.6 percent to 38.8 percent and margarine and margarine spreads increased from 26.6 percent to 38.8 percent and from 7.4 percent to 11.9 percent respectively.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages, which account for 16.5 percent of the NCPI basket, experienced inflation of seven percent in June 2022, compared to 7.3 percent in the same period last year.

Monthly price levels in this category increased by 0.7 percent during the period under review, compared to 1.5 percent the previous month.

The increase in the annual inflation rate for this category was primarily due to price increases in fresh, chilled, and frozen fish (from 1.7 percent to 10.1 percent) and tinned fish (from 1.7 percent to 10.1 percent) (from 0.5 percent to 2.6 percent).

Bread and cereal prices increased by seven percent compared to 5.6 percent in June 2021.

‘’The increase in the annual inflation rate for this subcategory resulted mainly from the increases in the price levels of bread, cake flour from 2.6% to 15.7%, cakes (from 4.6% to12.6%), Mealie rice/malt (from -0.1% to 6.8%) and Maize meal/grain (from 1.6% to 7.9%),’’ NSA states.

In terms of meat prices, which primarily contributed to the slow increase of the Food sub- annual category’s inflation rate, slowed by 4.5 percent compared to 16.0 percent during the same period last year.

The annual inflation rate for Meat slowed primarily in the price levels of Chicken (from 25.2 percent to 4.2 percent); Liver and kidneys (from 19.2 percent to 0.4 percent); Mutton (from 15.0 percent to 2.5 percent); and Sausages (from 15.0 percent to 2.5 percent) (from 12.8 percent to 1.7 percent).

Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate for the Transport category, which accounts for 14.3% of the consumer basket, continues to be the main driver of overall inflation, increasing by 18.6% in June 2022 compared to 9.6% in June 2021.

Other major contributors to the annual inflation rate for June 2022, according to the bulletin, were alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.8 percentage point); housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; and furnishings, household equipment, and routine house maintenance (0.4 percentage points).

By Observer