Inflation drops to 2.9%

Breathing room: Overall inflation is slowing down, including troublesome food inflation PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Breathing room: Overall inflation is slowing down, including troublesome food inflation PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Annual inflation, or the rate of growth in the prices of goods and services, fell to 2.9% in March, from 3.9% in February, helped by softer food and fuel prices.

Figures released by Statistics Botswana today show that the contributions of food and fuel to annual inflation fell to 0.7% and 0.2% in March, from 0.8% and 0.9% respectively in February.

Food inflation was measured at five percent in March, from 5.8% in February, while transport inflation was down to 0.7% from 3.5% over the same period. The transport index in the inflation calculation is heavily weighted towards fuel, whose prices were decreased last November and December. There has been no adjustment of fuel prices thus far this year.

By comparison, fuel prices were increased on March 1 last year, meaning the absence of an increase this year resulted in a significant drop in transport inflation, a situation known as base effects.


The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, this year are significantly softer than last year, as measured by food inflation which trended in the double digits until August.

According to Statistics Botswana’s latest figures, in the 12 months to March 2024, the average prices of sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery have risen the most at 9.8%, followed by the prices of meat. On the flip side, the prices of oils and fats have fallen the most over the period at negative 9.4% followed by mineral waters, soft drinks, fruits and vegetables juices.

At 2.9%, inflation in March is at the lowest level since last August.

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