Relief as Zanzibar inflation drops  

ZANZIBAR recorded a drop in inflation in May, driven by decreased commodity prices mainly food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as favourable weather conditions.

“The inflation decreased to 6.38 in May from 7.48 in April this year,” said Ms Salma Saleh Ali- Head of Price Statistics Unit, Office of Chief Government Statistician (OCGS)- Zanzibar- during her monthly media briefing on inflation.

However, she said that basically the increase in the prices of food products in the month of April was due to the increased demand due to the fact that the period was the Holy month of Ramadan.

“In general, the price indices for the year have increased in the country and reached 105.86 per cent per month in May 2023, compared to 99.52 per cent reported in the corresponding month in 2022,” the statistician said.

She explained that the price indices of food products for the month of May 2023 have increased to 111.14 per cent from the recorded 101.46 per cent in May 2022, while non-food products have reached 102.27 per cent in May 2023, compared to 98.08 per cent in corresponding month in 2022.

“The products that caused inflation to decrease include fish (3.8 per cent), OKI cooking oil (31.8 per cent) and mtwike bananas (3.7 per cent),” she noted.

Economist and lecturer at the Business school of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) Dr Estela Ngoma Hassani, said the inflation situation in Zanzibar is low compared to other countries of the East African Community, Kenya and Uganda.

She said that while inflation in Zanzibar stood at 6.38 per cent in May, inflation in Kenya reached 8 per cent, which is explained to be greatly influenced by the price of sugar which has risen by 49 per cent, caused by decrease in the production and availability of sugar in the world while many people who used to cultivate sugarcane have now turned to the corn crop which, according to world statistics, is the most widely cultivated food.

For Uganda, Dr Ngoma said inflation has risen to 6.2 per cent, explaining that the biggest reason is the decline in the value of the country’s currency compared to the US dollar.

She said that all those challenges were also linked to the rise in the price of oil in the world market.

Economist from the Central Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Dr Ulrick Mumbeli, said inflation is directly related to the amount of money in circulation, and that his bank has taken different measures to control circulation and maintain the currency value against US dollar.

 

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