April Inflation Rate Was 1.0 Percent – NSA

Latest figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) show that the monthly inflation rate for April 2014 stood at 1.0 percent, recording an increase of 0.4 percentage points over the 0.6 percent recorded a month earlier.

During the period April 2013 and April 2014, the highest monthly inflation rates were observed in the months of April and January 2014 at 1.0 and 0.9 percent respectively, as well as 0.7 percent for July 2013 and February 2014 respectively. The lowest monthly inflation rates were observed during May 2013 and December 2013 at 0.1 percent respectively. The annual inflation rate for April 2014 was estimated at 5.9 percent showing no change compared to the 5.9 percent recorded during the same period last year. During the period April 2013 to April 2014 the annual inflation rate fluctuated between 4.4 and 6.2 percent. The month of June 2013 recorded the highest annual inflation rate of 6.2 percent, whilst November 2013 recorded the lowest inflation rate of 4.4 percent.

The biggest contributor to overall inflation for the period under review was food and non-alcoholic beverages, which contributed 24.7 percent to overall inflation. This was followed closely by the transport sector, which contributed 22.7 percent. Housing, water and electricity contributed 16.6 percent, whilst alcoholic beverages contributed 14.9 percent. All the other groups’ contribution stood at 21.1 percent. Trade balance shows deficit

Namibia’s trade balance recorded a deficit as imports grew ger compared to the growth in exports. The deficit reached N$2.5 billion in March 2014 growing by 35.1 percent from a monthly revised deficit of N$1.8 billion in February 2014. The recorded deficit is the largest since December 2013 and underscores Namibia’s dependence on imports, as well as her vulnerability to any slowdown in supply from the largest trading partner, South Africa.

Namibia’s overall imports rose by 23.1 percent, from N$5.2 billion a month earlier to N$6.4 billion now. The increase in imports reflects the strengthening in domestic spending, mainly on boilers, vehicles and mineral fuels and oils. The import cost of the aforementioned commodities rose by 32.8 percent to N$2.6 billion from N$1.8 billion the previous month, as well as by 121 percent from N$1.2 billion a year earlier. Also, the overall value of imported goods from South Africa alone increased by 11.8 percent to N$4.2 billion from 3.8 billion a month ago, while the cost of imports from the USA increased by 324.4 percent to N$338 million from N$80 million the previous month.

On the other hand, imports from the DRC, UK and China weakened. The greatest decline observed was from the DRC, which was reflected in the imported value of copper, which fell to N$90 million from N$227 million a month earlier. The main import items include boilers, vehicles, mineral fuels and oils, electrical machinery and precious stones (diamonds). Similarly, export earnings rose by 16.6 percent over the same period month-on-month to N$3.9 billion from N$3.4 billion the previous month, as revenue from sales to all the major markets except Switzerland, Angola, and Zambia strengthened. The growth in export revenue was boosted by sales of ores, fish and precious stones (diamonds) to buyers from South Africa and overseas. Zinc exports increased the most by N$189 million, and precious stones (diamonds) by N$174 million. In addition, exports to the USA increased the most by N$225 million, China by N$221 million and Germany by N$100 million. On the other hand, overall export earnings slid by 14.2 percent from N$4.6 billion recorded in the same month of the preceding year. Exports to Switzerland and Angola fell by 21.8 percent to N$790 million from N$1 billion a month ago. The decline in exports to Angola was due to weakening demand for vehicles, boilers, furniture and electrical machinery, while the cause for decline in exports to Switzerland was mainly caused by falling export revenues for ores, which declined by 63.2 percent to N$132 from N$359 million a month earlier. Namibia’s export market in March 2014 was dominated by South Africa, Switzerland, USA, Angola, and Spain. These export markets accounted for 55.7 percent of total export earnings, down from 62 percent the previous month, but up from 47.6 percent a year ago. Export earnings from these markets aanced by 4.8 percent to N$2.17 billion when compared to N$2.09 billion a month ago.

Source : New Era