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Zambia records an increase in trade deficit

The trade deficit is valued at K 1,293.2 million for the month of June as compared K 1, 210.0 million recorded in May 2015. This is the highest for the year 2015. ZAMBIA has in the Month of June recorded a trade deficit of over one million kwacha, the highest for the year 2015; Zambia Central Statistics Office (CSO) says.

CSO director of census and statistics, John Kalumbi revealed that the country recorded a trade deficit valued at K 1,293.2 million in June 2015 from a trade deficit of K 1, 210.0 million recorded in May 2015.

He said this means the country imported more in June 2015 than it exported in nominal terms.

The June trade deficit valued at K 1,293.2 million becomes the highest this year with the lowest being that of January valued at K 52.4 million.

Speaking during the CSO monthly bulleting at the CSO head office yesterday, Mr. Kalumbi said in order for the county to record a trade surplus, there was need to diversify the economy and put to a stop the over reliance on copper as the major economic drive.

Trade deficit is an economic term used to measure a negative balance of trade in which a country's imports exceeds its exports. A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets.

And the CSO Director of Census and Statistics revealed that the country’s inflation rate remained at 7.1 percent for the month of July.

“The annual rate of inflation as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July 2015 remained at 7.1 percent. This means that on average, prices increased by 7.1 percent between July 2014 and July 2015,” Mr. Kalumbi explained.

He further added that the annual food inflation rate for July 2015 was recorded at 7.8 percent compared as to last month’s 7.1 percent adding that the increase was mainly influenced by price movements in items like roller mealie meal, bread, cereal and table salt.

He further stated, “The annual non-food rate for July 2015 deceased to 6.2 percent from 7.0 percent recorded last month. This was due to the slowing down of inflation in the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels division. The change in electricity tariffs last year during the same period has given rise to this decrease in the annual non-food inflation rate.”

Meanwhile, CSO deputy director of economic and financial statistics Goodson Sinyenga said Zambia’s major imported products were capital goods, consumer goods followed by immediate goods and raw materials.

Mr. Sinyenga further added, “The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region was the largest source of Zambia’s imports accounting for 47.8 percent in June 2015. Asia was the second source of the nation’s imports representing 32.4 percent and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa was third largest source accounting for 21.7 percent, the European Union was the fourth largest source of Zambia’s imports accounting for 9.1 percent with the United Kingdom emerging as the main source.”

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