Namibia’s inflation drops steadily
> Magreth Nunuhe
Windhoek – True to the predictions of the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the National Statistics Agency (NSA), Namibia has seen a steady slow-down of the annual inflation rate for 2015, mainly due to decline in international oil prices, which have had bearing on the rates of transport, housing, water, electricity, gas and more.
For the month of September 2015, Namibia’s annual inflation rate dropped to 3.3 percent, compared to 5.3 percent recorded during the same period in 2014.
The slowdown is attributed to decrease in the price levels of the categories of transport, clothing and footwear, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and furnishings and household equipment.
The lowest rate of 2.9 percent was noted in April this year, but for most part of the first three quarters of 2015, the average annual and average monthly inflation rates were estimated at 3.4 and 0.3 percent, while the corresponding rates registered during the same period in 2014 stood at 5.5 and 0.5 percent, respectively.
The only exception during 2015 when inflation went up was in July 2015, when it rose from 3 percent recorded in June to 3.3 percent, mainly due to the increase in water and electricity.
In February this year, overall inflation figures stood at 3.6 percent, 3.4 percent in March this year, 3.4 percent recorded in March and April; and 3 percent in May, according to data provided by Simonis Storm Securities.
According to the NSA, the main drivers of the annual inflation rate were the transport sector that showed a decline from -1.4 to -2.2 percent; the health sector which declined from 5.7 to 5.4 percent; hotels, cafés and restaurants that decreased from 6.2 to 5.9 percent; clothing and footwear that saw a decline from 0.3 to 0.1 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels declined from 2.4 to 2.3 percent; and finally, Furnishings, household equipment etc. decreased from 3.5 to 3.4.
The basket of goods and services, containing a representative sample of the goods and or services commonly consumed in Namibia now contains over 350 items, grouped into 12 categories and 55 sub-categories, for which prices are collected on a monthly basis from more than 900 retail outlets.
Namibian inflation is largely determined by three categories of the overall NCPI basket, namely housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; food and non-alcoholic beverages and transport, which cumulatively make up just under 60 percent of the total inflation basket.
For the month of September 2015, the annual inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages category stood at 5.7 percent, a 0.2 percentage point increase from 5.5 percent recorded in August 2015.
Annual inflation rate for the group of alcoholic beverages and tobacco stood at 7.4 percent in September 2015, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the 7.2 percent recorded in August 2015.
When it comes to transport, the annual inflation rate was recorded at -2.2 percent in September 2015, representing a decrease of 3.6 percentage point over the month of August 2015 which recorded a rate of 1.4 percent. This decrease was brought about by a decline in the level of prices of goods and services in the category of operation of personal transport equipment which went down to -5.7 percent from -4.6 percent recorded in the previous month.
For the minor groups, high annual inflation rates were observed in the groups of miscellaneous goods and services (6.2 percent); hotels, cafés and restaurants (5.9 percent); Health (5.4 percent), while education and recreation and culture recoded a rate of 4.3 and 4.2 percent respectively.
Communication and clothing and footwear groups registered the lowest annual inflation rates of 1.9 and 0.1 percent each.