January inflation accelerates to 6.6 percent

Annual inflation in January 2013 accelerated slightly to 6.6 percent year-on-year from 6.3 percent in December 2012. 
Simonis Storm Securities said in its analysis of January 2013 issued on Friday that the figure is much lower than the 7.6 per cent and 7.1 per cent recorded in November 2012 and October 2012, respectively.

“The increase in January can be attributed to housing and utilities inflation rising to 8.3 percent year-on-year from 7.6 per cent the previous month, while transport inflation and education inflation also contributed and increased from 5.8 per cent in December 2012 to 6.4 percent, and from 3.6 per cent to 6.5 per cent in January, respectively,” it stated.

The hotels inflation has significantly increased from 7.0 per cent in December to 8.9 percent in January. The January inflation number resulted in the 12-month average inflation remaining unchanged at 6.5 percent.

According to the analysis, food inflation decreased to 7.8 percent from 8.2 per cent on an annual basis, with eight out of the 13 sub-categories increasing on a monthly basis. 
Of these, the most prominent were fruit, fish, sugars and sweets and milk, cheese and eggs, while they were partially offset by vegetables and non-alcoholic beverages.
This translates to average food inflation for January of 0.4 per cent month-on-month, versus 0.7 percent month-on-month for January 2012.
Transport inflation, increased to 6.4 per cent year-on-year from 5.8 per cent in December. Given that petrol prices as well as public transport prices remained unchanged in January, the company believes that the increase was mainly on the back of vehicle prices.
It warned that the fuel price hike in February should put upward pressure on transport inflation.
The 2012 average transport inflation was 7.0 per cent, compared to 5.2 percent in 2011.
Among the other categories that recorded higher inflation than in December 2012 is recreation and hotels, plus the miscellaneous goods and services category annually.
According to the analysis, the annual inflation for education increased to 6.5 percent in January 2013 as the result of yearly increases in tuition fees. 
Goods inflation dropped further to 4.4 percent in January, while services’ inflation continued to increase to 10.5 per cent year-on-year.
It cautioned that food prices will continue to rise due to the weak Rand which affects Namibia’s imports, while transport inflation might be kept in check by a relatively stable oil price due to weak global demand.

“We expect inflation to start decelerating after the first quarter, due to a stronger currency and weak demand for goods. Hence our forecast for average inflation in 2013 is 6.2 percent compared to the 6.5 percent recorded in 2012,” it added.