Money became expensive last week for those who plan to borrow and fund their consumption.
At the same time, by the end of March of 2023, 50% of consumable prices have gone up by 5%.
The latest inflation figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency for March 2023 show that out of the 12 groups of the most consumed goods and services, their prices have increased by more than 5% annually by the end of March 2023.
The most increase was experienced in the category of food and non-alcoholic beverages which recorded a 14.6% increase in their prices in the 12 months period that ended March 2023.
This highlights the cost of food in the country and how deeply households have to dig into their income to put food on the table, especially for those with big families.
Furthermore, the proportion of all products recording 10% or higher annual inflation rates remains high and rising, having increased from 20.0% in February 2023 to 23.1% in March 2023.
Just a year ago, only 24.6% and 7.7% of all products had annual inflation rates above 5% and 10% respectively.
Furthermore, no category has experienced a price decline at all.
Is not only for food households and other economic agents are going to fork out more money but also for transport-related matters, especially furniture removal and transport of goods.
Other categories that have experienced more than 5% inflationary changes are furnishings, household equipment, miscellaneous goods and services. Recreation and cultural matters in the economy have gotten expensive compared to last year.
For alcohol consumers and smokers, be prepared to pay more as prices of the two commodities have experienced an annual inflation change of 6.9% by the end of March 2023
For locals who are planning to travel and see the country, prices of hotel, cafe and restaurants related services have gone up by 6% in the 12 months.
The only commodities in the consumer basket that have experienced price changes annually lower than 5% are health, education, housing, water and electricity, together with clothing and footwear.
While communications-related consumables have recorded the lowest price changes since last year March, recording 0.6% inflation.
The situation is more critical when it comes to the cost of goods in the economy, the annual inflation rate for goods increased by 10.1% compared to 5.7% registered during the same period last year.
This indicates that consumers have to fork out more money to buy the same amount of goods or reduce their consumption of certain goods in their basket.
As for the consumption of services, the annual inflation rate for services rose by 3.1% in March 2023 compared to 2.9% recorded in March 2022.
Meanwhile, the monthly inflation rate for goods and services rose by 0.9 percent and 0.0 percent in March 2023 compared to 0.7% and 0.0% registered during the previous month, respectively.
Year-to-date inflation as tracked by Simonis Storm averages at 7.1% compared to 4.5% in the same period last year.
Simonis Storm has also warned consumers that annual food price inflation will likely remain the key driver of local inflation for the remainder of 2023.
Food shortages in South Africa due to loadshedding and Namibia as a result of inadequate rainfall are being forecasted, making Namibia more vulnerable to global food prices. At the same time, a weaker Rand exchange rate is being forecasted for 2023, which would also add to inflationary pressures for food products.
Furthermore, Nampower has requested a 16% increase in electricity tariffs, and this is subject to the discretionary approval of the Electricity Control Board (ECB) in April 2023.
It is notable that local demand for electricity is increasing with a seasonal effect in winter and spring seasons, while there is also a demand for fuel levy to go up.