Business

Zambia posts highest trade deficit of K310m

TRYNESS MBALE, Lusaka
AS Zambia aims for industrialisation to promote exports, the country witnessed a highest trade deficit valued at K310.3 million in March on a monthly basis, data from Central Statistical Office (CSO) has revealed.
However, the country’s annual inflation rate remained unchanged at 7.2 percent for April.
CSO acting director Daniel Daka said the trade deficit represents a 189.2 percent decrease in the value of exports from K410.7 million in February 2015 to K400.8 million in March 2015.
Mr Daka said the country imported more than it exported during March compared to February with imports skyrocketing to over K4.40 billion from K418.8 million.
“The value of exports declined by 0.12 percentage point from K410.7 million in February to  K400.8 million in March ,while imports increased by 4.5 percent from about K4.12 billion in February to  K4311.8 million in March,” Mr Daka said at the CSO monthly briefing yesterday.
He said since January, 2015 Zambia has consecutively registered trade deficits, with the highest being in March.
On Wednesday, President Lungu called on the Southern African Development Community to undertake necessary reforms to encourage and support development of appropriate industries that will transform the region’s primary raw materials into high-value finished products.
On inflation rate, Mr Daka said the country’s annual inflation rate was recorded at 7.2 percent in April which remained the same in March with food and non-alcoholic beverage products accounting for 3.7 percent while non-food products accounted for 3.5 percent.
The annual food inflation rate for April was recorded at 7.1 percent compared to 7.2 percent in March, representing a 0.1 percentage point decline.
However, the annual inflation rate for non-food increased to 7.3 percent from 7.1 percent.
During the period under review, the national average price of a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast and roller mealie-meal decreased by 1.2 percent from K70.61 to K69.74 and by 1.9 percent from K53.93 to K52.89, respectively.




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