NAMIBIA – The latest data from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has reported a significant decline in the overall cost of goods and services, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plummeting from 14.6% in March 2023 to a more manageable 4.9% in March 2024.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages category, which accounts for over 16% of the Namibian Consumer Price Index (NCPI) basket, witnessed a substantial drop in its annual inflation rate, falling from 14,6% in March 2023 to a more manageable 4,9% in March 2024,” said Alex Shimuafeni, general statistician of NSA.

This reduction has translated into tangible benefits for Namibians, particularly in accessing essential items.

According to Shimuafeni, this decrease can be attributed to lower prices for staples like bread, maize meal and cooking oil.

One standout example is the price of pure sunflower oil (750 ml) in different Zones, a staple in many households.

In Zone 2 (Khomas), consumers now pay N$31.76 (US$1.69), down from a staggering N$41.85 (US$2.22) in 2022, a notable decrease attributed to the stabilization of global markets following the war in Ukraine.

Similarly, prices in Zone 3 (Kharas, Erongo, Hardap, Omaheke regions) have fallen to N$30.90 (US$1.64) and in Zone 1 (Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi regions) to N$30.38 (US$1.61).

Statisticians credit this positive shift to various factors, including a drop in inflation within the food and transportation sectors.

Bread prices, on the other hand, have stabilized after a previous surge, while the transportation category, representing 14.3% of the NCPI basket, now shows a moderate 4.3% inflation rate, down from 9.2% in March 2023.

However, not all sectors saw decreases. Sugar prices continued their upward trend, with inflation reaching 7.7% in March 2024.

“The slowdown in inflation is a positive sign for the Namibian economy. It suggests a potential stabilisation in prices, offering some relief to consumers who have been grappling with rising costs,” said Shimuafeni.

He added that this trend could boost consumer spending, leading to a potential increase in economic activity in the country.

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