Zambia's inflation rises to 6-year high as currency weakens


Zambia’s inflation rose to its highest in six years on Thursday as the copper producer was battered by power cuts, a falling currency and a shrinking demand for its primary import.

Consumer prices rose sharply to 14.3 percent year-on-year in October from 7.7 percent in September, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said on Thursday.


Monthly inflation also jumped, quickening to 6.2 percent in October from 0.7 percent in the previous month, the agency said.

“The increase in the annual rate of inflation was attributed to both food and non-food items,” the statistics agency said.

Zambia’s kwacha has halved in value against the dollar this year as lower copper prices have hit Africa’s second biggest producer of the metal.

The southern African nation is also in the midst of severe power shortages, forcing state utility Zesco Ltd to cut electricity supply to mining firms while doubling what it charges household consumers.

Last week the central bank said it would not compromise economic growth as it battled to address inflationary pressures arising from kwacha’ s sharp depreciation.