Botswana’s national year-on-year inflation rate for the month of March remained unchanged as the figures registered for February, according to data released this week.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures released on Thursday showed that in March 2009, national year-on-year inflation rate remained constant at 11.7 percent, as in February 2009.
This puts breaks on the downward trend that inflation has been going since the fall in fuel prices that are the major component of the basket.
However, observers have noted that inflation may be heading towards single digits before the end of 2009.
The CSO revealed that the cities and towns’ inflation rate went down by 0.2 of a percentage point from 10.5 percent in February to 10.3 percent in March while the urban villages’ inflation rate was 12.2 percent, up from February figure of 11.9 percent by 0.3 of a percentage point.
On the other hand, the rural villages’ inflation rate increased from 14.7 percent in February to 14.9 percent in March, an increase of 0.2 of a percentage point.
According to the CSO, four group indices recorded changes of more than 1.0 percent between February and March.
These are restaurants & hotels (1.9 percent), housing, water, electricity & other Fuels (1.6 percent), furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (1.6 percent) and food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.3 percent).
On the other hand, the restaurants & hotels group index increased by 1.9 percent ÔÇô from 145.1 to 147.9 between the two periods. This was due to increases in the section indices of Restaurants, Cafes & the Like and Accommodation Services, which rose by 1.9 and 0.7 percent respectively.
The Housing, Water, Electricity & Other Fuels group index registered an increase of 1.6 percent from 114.7 in February to 116.5 in March 2009. This was mainly due to an increase in the constituent section index of Rent Paid by Tenants which increased by 3.8 percent.
The Furnishing, Household Equipment & Routine maintenance group index moved from 118.2 to 120.1 between February and March, an increase of 1.6 percent. This was mainly a result of an increase in the constituent section index of Goods & Services for H/hold Maintenance – (3.5 percent), which constitutes the quarterly domestic wages of servants.
The Carpets & Other Floor Coverings and Glassware, Tableware & Household Utensils section index also contributed positively to the increase (though having small weights) with 3.4 and 2.3 percent respectively.
The Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages index group moved from 146.2 to 148.2, registering an increase of 1.3 percent between February and March 2009.
The rise was due to a general increase in the food prices. All but one section index recorded increases namely: Meat (Fresh, Chilled & Frozen)- ( 1.4 percent), Food not elsewhere Specified (1.7 percent), Milk, Cheese & Milk Products (1.2 percent), Vegetables (6.6 percent), Mineral Water, Soft drink, fruits & vegetable Juices (6.6 percent), Fruits (3.2 percent), Coffee, Tea & Cocoa (3.0 percent), and Fish (Fresh, Chilled & Frozen)- (1.1 percent).
The Imported Tradeables inflation rate rose up by 0.7 of a percentage point between February and March, from 6.8 to 7.5 percent.
The Domestic Tradeables inflation rate went down from 23.2 percent in February to 21.7 percent in March, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points, while the Non-Tradeables inflation rate was 9.2 percent in March, up by 0.3 of a percentage point on the February rate of 8.9 percent.
The Domestic Tradeables index was 147.5 in March, an increase of 0.8 percent on the February level of 146.3. The Non- Tradeables index went up by 1.1 percent ÔÇô from 117.4 in February to 118.7 in March. The All-Tradeables index increased by 0.6 percent – from 127.1 to 127.8, between February and March.