Inflation rises to 5.5 pct in February


ANNUAL inflation rose to 5.5 per cent in February from 5.2 per cent in January pushed by a rise in price of mainly food items, the statistics office said yesterday.

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)'s Acting Manager in the department of Price and Employment Statistics, Ms Ruth Minja said the food items that contributed to such an increase included rice by 4 per cent, maize grains by 12.2 per cent, maize flour by 10.1 per cent, Sorghum grain by 5.6 per cent, cooking banana by 9.5 per cent and beans by 6.7 per cent.

Food prices are the biggest driver of inflation in Tanzania's consumer price index basket of goods and services. On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose by 1.0 per cent in February from an increase of 0.8 per cent a month ago, she said.

According to her, the overall index had increased to 106.97 in February, 2017 from 105.92 recorded in January, 2017. However, the annual inflation rate which excludes food and energy for the month of February, 2017, according to Ms Minja, has slightly decreased to 2.2 per cent from 2.3 per cent recorded in January 2017.

“The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) used to compute this type of inflation rate excludes food consumed at home and restaurant, non alcoholic beverages: Petrol, diesel, gas, kerosene, charcoal, firewood and electricity,’’ she said adding that it excludes food and energy which are the most volatile components in the total NCPI that provide a more stable inflation rate figure for policy makers.

The NCPI measures the change over time in the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services that are purchased by a representative sample of households in Tanzania.

A basket includes a list of 278 goods and services of which 97 are food and non-alcoholic beverages and 181 are non food items that are being priced on monthly bases.

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