August 31, 2015
BY RICHARD MUNGAI
MALAWI, Sudan and Ethiopia recorded an inflation rate of 26.6, 17.4 and 14.7 per cent each in July, making them the countries with the most expensive goods and services in the Comesa region, according to the latest harmonised consumer price indices.
The data provided by the Common Market for East and Southern Africa shows a high inflation rate also prevailed in Burundi, Madagascar and Egypt at 8.5, 7.8 and 7.7 per cent, respectively.
The Democratic Republic of Congo recorded a low inflation rate of 0.6 per cent while Mauritius, Rwanda and Zimbabwe recorded negative 0.2, 2.3 and 2.8 each.
Zambia, Kenya, Seychelles, Uganda and Swaziland, which recorded an inflation of 6.2, 6, 5.7, 5.5 and 4.6 per cent respectively, were the only countries that maintained the recommended inflation average of two to seven per cent.
According to the index, inflation in the Comesa region stood at 7.3 per cent in July 2015.
It shows an item that cost an average of 100 cents in July 2014 would have sold at 107.30 cents in July this year if the region used a common currency.
“The year-on-year inflation rate in the Comesa region as measured by the HCPI-Comesa stood at 7.3 per cent for the month of July 2015, down from 9.5 per cent registered in June 2015,” it states.
“The month on month inflation rate in the Comesa region as measured by HCPI-Comesa stood at 0.7 per cent for the month of July 2015, up from 0.2 per cent registered in June 2015. It was 2.8 per cent in July 2014.”
The HCPI-Comesa annual rate measures the price change between a particular month and the same month one year earlier while the monthly rate measures the price change between the two latest months.
The index shows the main components of expenditure in the region are education, recreation and culture and alcoholic and tobacco.
Others include restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance, health, transport and communication.
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