Annual inflation rate remained relatively unchanged at 2.4% in March
The annual inflation remained muted in March at 2.4% compared to 2.5% in February, latest statistics by the Namibia Statistics Agency show.
Experts expect inflation to remain low for the rest of the year as the lockdown imposed by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic has put a number of businesses and consumers under severe financial pressure, which will result in consumers simply not being able to afford higher prices on goods and services.
“This will put further downward pressure on inflation as consumers will mostly direct their spending toward essential goods and services,” researchers at IJG Securities noted.
Meanwhile, oil prices are expected to remain low for as long as factories across the world remain closed. Despite OPEC agreeing to cut oil production by 9.7 million barrels in May and June, oil prices are expected to remain low for the next few months as the demand for oil remains low, and oil producers are running out of storage space. Furthermore, given that a relatively large fuel pump price cut was announced for both petrol and diesel for April, inflationary pressure is likely to remain very low in fuel.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy dropped the fuel pump price of diesel by 30 cents per litre in March, which resulted in a price drop of 0.5% in the operation of personal transport equipment, and the annual increase to slow to 5.5% in March from 5.9% recorded in February.