Food prices stubborn as inflation eases to 3.5%

Breathing room: Overall inflation is slowing down, but food inflation remains a worry PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Breathing room: Overall inflation is slowing down, but food inflation remains a worry PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The rate of increase in the average prices of goods and services in the economy eased in December, as reflected by inflation slowing to 3.5% from 3.9% in November.

Statistics Botswana figures show annual food inflation dropped from 6.7% in November to 6.1% in December, while inflation associated with transport fell to 1.5% from 2.2%. Annual inflation associated with personal care fell from 8.9% to 7.7%.

The latest inflation level is well within the three to six percent objective range set by Bank of Botswana and seen as supportive of stable price growth.

For the year, inflation averaged 5.2%, with the increases in average prices in the economy representing a tale of two halves.


In the first half of the year, inflation peaked at 9.9% in March and averaged 7.8%, as prices came down slightly from their historic highs in 2022. In the second half, inflation peaked at 3.9% in November and averaged 2.7%.

The main difference between the two halves was a downturn in fuel prices, which eased in consecutive months during the second half of the year. For 2023, however, while food prices declined, they still ended the year with the third highest annual inflation after miscellaneous goods and services as well as restaurants and hotels.

The miscellaneous category covers items such as personal care, insurance, financial services and taxes.

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