Inflation falls to 7.4% as trade deficit widens
Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that inflation fell to by 0.3% from the previous month to 7.4% in February 2015. The decrease was driven by a drop in non-food inflation. This is the third consecutive drop in the inflation rate since it hit a high of 8.1% in November 2014.
The country recorded a trade deficit of K113.7 million in January 2015 – widening by 57% from December 2014s revised deficit of K72.7 million. This is the second trade deficit in a row:
There was a sharp drop in the value of copper exports which declined by 39% from December 2014 to K2.6 billion. On first look one would immediately look at the decline in global copper prices as a chief cause but when the numbers are looked at in totality, it can be seen that there was a general slowdown in trade in January 2015. The country only exported K3.7 billion and imported K3.8 billion – both values down about 24% from their respective 2014 monthly averages. The January presidential by-elections obviously played a big role in the slowdown of trade. It will be interesting to see what the figures will be for February and whether the country is looking at a third consecutive deficit.
Government signs 1 year oil deal with Saudi Arabia
ZAMBIA and Saudi Arabia have signed a one-year Government to Government renewable oil procurement and supply deal effective this year. The deal will see the oil-rich State supply Zambia with 40 million litres of refined crude oil at a much more cost effective rate as compared to other external sources. Energy Permanent Secretary Charity Mwansa said in an interview yesterday that Saudi Arabia will supply Zambia with 15 million litres of petrol and 25 million litres of diesel in the deal. (Read more)
CEC Liquids ‘Fibre to the Home’ project set to connect 20,000 households by year-end
CEC Liquid Telecommunications Limited (CEC Liquid Telecom) today launches its Fibre To The Home (FTTH) service, over which homes and businesses of all sizes can access superfast broadband with unlimited data packages. The FTTH Service will provide speeds of up to 100Mbps, the fastest broadband ever available in Zambia and indeed throughout Africa. It will provide Zambians with the Real Internet enabling businesses to use cloud-based services such as Microsoft 365, Dropbox and online backups; as well as video conferencing based on OTT services, like Skype. (Read more)
LME 3-month Copper seller's price closed the week at $5,841 per MT.
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. * * *