The latest figures from Statistics Botswana have shown that in March, a month before Value Added Tax (VAT) increment kicked in, inflation had increased to 3.2 percent.
According to the data, the main contributors to the increase were housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels which recorded an increase of 1.3 percent.
Food, non-alcoholic beverages, and transport increased by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.
The comparison of inflation rates has indicated that inflation rates by regions between February and March 2021, cities and towns’ inflation rates increased by 0.8 percent, from 2.1 percent to 2.9 percent in March.
On the other hand, urban villages’ inflation rate stood at 3.5 percent in March, having registered an increase of 0.8 percent from 2.7 percent seen in March.
During the same period, the Rural Villages’ rate moved from 2.3 to 3.1 percent, recording a growth of 0.8 of a percentage point.
The data further reveals that in March, the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 106.0, which was an increase of 0.8 percent from 105.2 seen in the previous month.
CPI is defined as a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transport, food, and medical care.
It is reported group indices were generally moving at a stable pace between February 2021 and March 2021, recording changes of less than 1.0 percent, except the Transport group index which recorded 2.8 percent.
The increase in transport index is attributed to an increase in the constituent section index of Operation of Personal Transport and purchase of Vehicles by 5.3 and 0.9 percent respectively.
The increase in Operation of Personal Transport section index was due to the rise in retail pump prices for petrol (95) by P0.57 per litre and diesel (50ppm) by P0.52 per litre, which effected on the 1st of March 2021.
During the same period, the Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group index moved from 108.0 to 108.6 recording an increase of 0.5 percent.
This is said to be due to the general increase in the constituent section indices.
The Alcoholic Beverages &Tobacco group index rose by 0.5 percent, from 111.5 to 112.0 over the two months, due to the rise in the constituent section index, notably; Tobacco which increased by 1.5 percent.