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Cost of Living Up as Inflation Shoot Up To 7.1%

By:Hertha Ekandjo
The annual inflation rate which indicates the price movement of most consumed goods and services in the economy has gone up by 7.1% in October 2022, says the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) monthly report.
This is a significant increase compared to the 3.6% recorded in October 2021, significantly impacting the cost of living in the country.
From a monetary perspective, an item that cost N$100 in 2003 is estimated to cost N$267.36 at the beginning of 2022, and with the continuous increase, the same items should be costing a few more dollars.
NSA also noted that the prices have not only jumped up for the past nine months, but monthly the inflation rate has increased by 0.2% compared to 0.1% recorded a month earlier.
The culprits making life miserable for many are the transport components used by households, food items and non-alcoholic beverages.
“Transport and food and non-alcoholic beverages components continued to be the main contributors to the annual inflation rate with a contribution of 2.6 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points, respectively,” the report stated.
Analysis by global bodies has shown that the inflation rate for consumer prices in Namibia has significantly changed over the past 18 years between 2.2% and 9.5%.
During the observation period from 2003 to 2021, the average inflation rate was 5.6% per year.
Within the food category, oils and fats remain stubbornly elevated, with prices augmented by 24.6% in October 2022 compared to 16.9% registered during the same period a year earlier.
The increase was reflected mainly in the price levels of cooking oil that escalated (from 26.4% to 34.2%), margarine and margarine spreads (from 8.9% to 15.6%), and peanut butter (from -1.2% to 2.1%).
Within the food subcategory, bread, and cereals account for the highest weight of food items that consumers purchase, having a weight of 4.8% followed by meat at 3.5%.
Bread and cereals prices increased by 10.2% during October 2022 compared to 1.3% recorded same period of the preceding year.
The increase in the annual inflation rate for this subcategory resulted mainly from increases in the price levels of bread, cake flour (from -0.7% to 21.4%); maize, meal/grain (from -3.7% to 13.6%), baby foods, and cereals (from 2.5% to 11.7%).
According to NSA, the zonal inflation rates for October 2022 revealed that Zone 2 (Khomas) dwellers are experiencing the cost of goods as the zone recorded the highest annual inflation rate of 7.8%.
Khomas is followed by Zone 3 (Hardap, Omaheke, //Karas, and Erongo) at 6.8% and Zone 1 (Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi) which recorded an annual inflation rate of 6.5%.
NSA noted that on a monthly basis, Zone 1 and Zone 2 recorded an inflation rate of 0.2% each, while Zone 3 recorded a monthly inflation rate of 0.1%.
Zone one inflation can be demand-pull given the fact that almost everyone in Khomas eats from the shop compared to rural regions that produce some of their food items.
Analysis of the average retail prices of selected products for October revealed that consumers in Zone 3 paid the highest price for pure sunflower oil (750ml) at N$41.85 followed by Zone 2 at N$41.37, while consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price of N$39.18.
For brown sugar (1 kg), consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price at N$17.49, while the highest price was paid by consumers residing in Zone 2 at N$18.92.

Hertha Ekandjo

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