By Victor Baatweng
The state owned statistical agency ÔÇô Statistics Botswana has released the first set of consumer prices index data following a rebase in December 2018.
The agency first announced in early December 2018 that it will update its measure of consumer prices increase/decrease.
Globally, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rebasing is generally carried on a regular basis to factor in changes in priorities and provide a more accurate view of the general economy.
In Botswana, since the September 2016 rebasing, a total of 49 areas across the country have been covered in the CPI prices collection. Still in 2016, the agency decided to remove some items such as Video Cassettes Recorder (VCR), Blank Video Cassette and Rental of DVD which are no longer consumable in the local market.
Still in December 2018, Temba Sibanda ÔÇô Senior Corporate Communications Officer at Statistics Botswana said the input data for rebasing the CPI will be obtained from the results of the 2015/16 Botswana Multi Topic Households Survey (BMTHS) conducted by the agency.
Meanwhile in January, headline inflation remained at 3.5 percent, the same as in December. The January inflation decreased for: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (from 0.9 to 0.7 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (from 3.5 to 3.4 percent); transport (from 10 to 9.9 percent); education (from 5.4 to 3 percent); restaurants and hotels (from 2.9 to 2.7 percent); and miscellaneous goods and services (from 6.5 to 6.4 percent). The increase in deflation for communication (from -9.2 to -9.3 percent) also contributed to the decrease in inflation. However, this was offset by inflation increasing with respect to food and non-alcoholic beverages (from -0.2 to 0 percent). Inflation remained unchanged for: clothing and footwear (1.6 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (2.1 percent); health (1.1 percent); and recreation and culture (1.5 percent).
The trimmed mean measure of core inflation and inflation excluding administered prices remained unchanged at 3.6 and 1.8 percent, respectively.