August Inflation Quickens to 7.3% as Trade Deficit Contracts
August inflation ticked up to 7.3% from 7.1% the previous month. The upward move was led by an increase in the prices of non-food items such as fuel and transport fares and fees. The Government raised the pump price of fuel by an average of 13% in July whereas road user fees (road tax, license renewals etc.) were also raised by 50%.
The trade balance came in at a deficit of K958 million in July, down 20% from the previous month. This was the first contraction in the trade deficit this year.
Zambia continued to enhance its pedigree of peace and stability after a tightly contested presidential by-election to replace late President Michael C. Sata. Former Defense Minister Edgar Chagwa Lungu of the ruling party (PF) beat his closest competitor Hakainde Hichilema by 1.6% to secure the presidency. Low voter turnout played a crucial role in the competitiveness of the race. (Download full note)
Zambia set to end power tariff subsidies for large firms
Zambia's government will stop supplying cheap electricity to large industries as Africa's second largest copper producer battles a costly power shortages. The move away from subsidized electricity tariffs for large consumers will happen immediately, while state utility Zesco will source energy from private producers to plug the deficit, government spokesperson Vincent Mwale said.(Read more)
Zambia Starts Sale of $131 Million Stake in State Mining Company
Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, began the sale of a 17 percent stake in its mining investment company that’s expected to fetch about one-billion kwacha ($131 million). An offer of about 27 million shares prioritizing Zambian investors opened Friday and closes Oct. 2, said Jimmy Mwambazi, corporate finance manager at Stockbrokers Zambia Ltd., which is managing the sale. (Read more)
Trying to decipher this puzzle that is Zambia by using a variety of publicly available data (structured and unstructured) in conjunction with my own skill/experience. * * *