Inflation Accelerates to 5,9 Percent in April

ANNUAL inflation accelerated from 5,2% in March to 5,9% in April, the Namibia Statistics Agency said yesterday. Inflation was also 5,9% in April last year.

The monthly inflation rate for April stood at one percent, recording an increase of 0,4 percentage points over 0,6% recorded a month earlier.

The biggest contributor to inflation for the period was food and non alcoholic beverages which contributed 24,7%. This was closely followed by the transport sector which contributed 22,7%. Housing, water and electricity contributed 16,6% whilst alcoholic beverages contributed 14,9%. All the other groups’ contribution stood at 21,1%.

The agency said during April 2013 and April 2014, the highest monthly inflation rates were observed in April and January this year at one percent and 0,9% respectively, as well as 0,7% for both July 2013 and February 2014.

During the period of April 2013 to April 2014, the annual inflation rate fluctuated between 4,4% and 6,2%.

June last year recorded the highest annual inflation rate of 6,2% while November 2013 recorded the lowest inflation rate of 4,4%.

TRADE BALANCE

The country’s trade balance recorded a deficit as imports grew ger than exports. The deficit reached N$ 2,5 billion in March growing by 35,1% from a monthly revised deficit of N$1,8 billion in February.

“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,” agency.

Namibia’s overall imports rose by 23,1%, from N$5,2 billion a month earlier to N$6,4 billion in March.

The agency said the increase in imports reflects the strengthening in domestic spending, mainly on boilers, vehicle and mineral fuels and oils. The import cost for these commodities rose by 32,8% to N$2,6 billion from N$1,8 billion in February as well as by 121% from N$1,2 billion a year earlier.

The overall value of imported goods from South Africa alone increased by 11,8% to N$4,2 billion from N$3,8 billion in February, while the cost of imports from the USA increased to N$338 million from N$80 million in February. On the other hand, imports from DRC, UK and China weakened. The most decline observed was from DRC which was reflected in the imported value of copper, which fell to N$90 million from N$227 million.

Export earnings rose by 16,6% to N$3,9 billion from N$3,4 billion in February 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. Zinc exports increased the most by N$189 million, and diamonds by N$174 million.

Source : The Namibian