Inflation expected to soar
Figures from the government data collecting agency, Statistics Botswana show that by January this year, the food import bill stood at P782 million.
This represents 10 percent of the total value of imports for the month which was P7.2 billion.
According to the data, the most imported food items during the month were sugar and sugar confectionery which accounted for 18.7 percent followed by cereals at 15.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate for April recently soared at 5.6 percent, recording a rise of 2.4 percentage points on the March 2021 rate of 3.2 percent.
The major contributors to the April 2021 annual inflation rate were; Transport which registered 1.8 percent, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels at 1.1 percent, Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 0.9 percent, Miscellaneous Goods & Services at 0.5 percent, and Alcoholic Beverages &Tobacco which recorded an increase of 0.5 percent.
The month of April saw a change in prices of consumer goods as the government implemented tax changes such as the increase of the Value Added Tax (VAT) by 2 percent from 12 percent to 14 percent.
During the same month, the fuel levy was also adjusted by P1, from 12thebe while electricity tariffs were also adjusted upwards.
Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) adjusted its rentals upwards to match market rates according to the Corporation.
Statistics Botswana says by the comparison of inflation rates for regions between March 2021 and April 2021 shows that the Cities and Towns inflation rate rose by 2.6 percentage points, from 2.9 percent in March to 5.5 percent in April.
The Urban Villages inflation rate on the other side stood at 5.9 percent in April, reflecting an increase of 2.4 percentage points on the March rate of 3.5 percent whereas the Rural Villages rate moved from 3.1 to 5.2 percent, recording a growth of 2.1 percentage points.
During April, the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 109.6 in April 2021, an increase of 3.3 percent, from 106.0 recorded in March 2021.
The CPI is used to measure changes in the price level of a weighted average market basket of consumer goods and services bought by households.