Tanzania: high food prices cause spike in inflation

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October figures show inflation in Tanzania slightly ticked up slightly by 0.2 percent whereas the overall index increased from 159.17 to 149.70, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has announced.

Annual inflation measured by the consumer price index rose to 6.3 per cent from 6.1 per cent in October, but the increase is not directly correlated with gasoil prices in the local market.

The rise in inflation has continued constantly since early this year but the bureau maintains the overall economic performance remains in good shape.

The Director of Population Census and Social Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Ephraim Kwesigabo told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that the inflation rate increased as a direct result of the increase in food prices.

He said while annual inflation rate for food consumed at home and away has also slightly increased to 10.0 per cent from 9.4 percent recorded in September this year, rates which exclude food and energy decreased to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent during the period under review.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics show inflation is once again returning to normal and that fluctuation in oil prices does not heavily impact the country’s economy.

“Some people ought to benefit from the inflation increase but I can tell you ordinary people suffer the most,” Mr. Kwesigabo said.

Similarly, in neighbouring East African countries, inflation was up in Kenya and Uganda. In Kenya inflation rose to 6.72 per cent up from 5.97 percent in September and in Uganda from 7.2 % to 8.8 %.