By Hilary Mare
ACCORDING to figures delivered by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) last week, inflation remains unabatedly high at 8.2 percent y-o-y in January 2017 compared to 5.3 percent recorded in January 2016.
This is the highest increase since an 8.2 percent y-o-y recorded in October 2009.
On a monthly basis, inflation increased by 3.2 percent in January 2017 compared to 0.2 percent in the prior month.
Comparatively, South Africa’s inflation stood at 6.6 percent y-o-y in January 2017 compared to 6.8 percent y-o-y recorded in December 2016.
“We still expect inflation to moderate over the medium term,” trainee economist at Simonis and Storm Securities, Indileni Nanghonga said.
Food and non-alcoholic increased by 13.2 percent y-o-y in January 2017 compared to a 6.1 percent recorded in the prior year.
According to NSA, the significant increase in this group emanated from annual price increases recorded in all the sub-groups comprising the food and non-alcoholic beverages component with the exception of vegetables including potatoes and other tubers which slowed down from 13.3 percent recorded in January 2016 to 8.3 percent in January 2017.
“We expect food prices to moderate due to the expected good rainfall this year. In addition, Bank of Namibia kept rates unchanged at 7.00 percent at their recent meeting. We believe that this was necessary to support economic growth,” added Nanghonga.
Transport inflation stood at 5.2 percent y-o-y in January 2017 compared to a 4.3 percent recorded in the prior year.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy left fuel prices unchanged this month after increasing petrol and diesel prices by 20 and 30 cents per litre in January.
“The year 2017 opened with the annual inflation rate of 8.2 percent, a rate that is 2.9 percentage points higher than the 5.3 percent registered in January a year earlier. This increase was mainly attributed to price increases registered in the categories of food and non-alcoholic beverages (13.2 percent), hotels, restaurants and cafes (9.8 percent), furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (9.5 percent), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (9.3 percent), education (8.2 percent) and communications (6.2 percent).
“On a monthly basis, the price levels increased to 3.2 percent from 0.2 percent recorded last month. This is the highest monthly inflation rate recorded for the last 14 years. This increase emanated from monthly increases registered in all the groups comprising the Namibia CPI with the exception of clothing and footwear, communications and recreation and culture which declined to -0.4, -0.2 and -0.8 percent in January 2017 from 0.0, -0.1 and 0.4 percent in December 2016 respectively,” Alex Shimuafeni, the Statistician-General extended.
The All Items Index for January 2017 stood at 126.1 an increase of 9.6 percentage points over the January 2016 index of 116.5. During the period between January 2016 and January 2017 the annual inflation fluctuated between 8.2 percent and 5.3 percent. The highest annual inflation rate recorded during this period was 8.2 recorded in January 2017 and the lowest of 5.3 percent registered in January 2016.
In January 2017 the Index for Goods and Services stood at 127.3 and 124.5 respectively as compared to the corresponding indices of 117.7 and 115.0 recorded during the same period last year. The monthly and annual inflation rates for Goods were 0.8 and 8.1 percent while those for Services stood at 6.6 and 8.3 percent. Corresponding rates recorded during the same period in the previous year stood at 0.5 and 4.8 percent for Goods and 4.9 and 6.1 percent for services respectively.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015