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Inflation surprises on the downside

Year-on-year February inflation surprised on the downside slowing to 6.2% from the 6.6% recorded in January.
Month-on-month inflation declined to 0.4% from 1.6% the previous month.
The category Hotels, Cafes and Restaurants saw the highest annual inflation increase of 9.7% followed by the category Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other fuels at 8.5% while the categories, Clothing and Footwear; Communications, and Health recorded smaller increases of 2.0%, 2.3% and 3.9% respectively.
Statistician General Dr John Steytler and Economist Rowland Brown cautioned that despite the deceleration in the rate of inflation, there are still inflationary pressures in the local economy. They said since Namibia is a net importer of goods and fuel, there is likely to be imported inflation in the next coming months as the Rand continues to weaken especially against the US Dollar.
Inflation in the past few months has largely been choppy. Increasing to 7.6% in November, it came down to 6.3% in December, increasing again to 6.6% in January before falling to 6.2% in February.
The Bank of Namibia expects inflation to average 6.4% in 2013 down from the 6.5% average of 2012.

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