Increasing food prices push up inflation

Tuesday May 16 2017

Dar es Salaam. Annual headline inflation was recorded at 6.4 percent in March 2017 compared with 5.5 percent in February 2017 and 5.4 percent in March 2016, Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has reported in its current Monthly Economic Review.

According to the report, rise in headline inflation was mainly driven by prices of food items, particularly fresh cassava, maize flour, rice, cooking bananas, sorghum, vegetables, sugar and dried sardines.

On the other hand, BoT says that inflation rates of all main consumer goods and services were lower than headline inflation, with exception of food and non-alcoholic beverages and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel subgroups.

“On month-to-month basis, headline inflation rate was 1.4 percent in March 2017 compared with 0.5 percent in March 2016,” reads part of the report.

Owing to the onset of harvestings season across the country, BoT has projected that both annual and monthly headline inflation are expected to fall in the coming months.

Annual food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation increased to 11.0 percent in March 2017 from 8.7 percent in February 2017, while on month-to-month basis, it was 2.8 percent in


March 2017 compared with 0.7 percent in March 2016 (Table 1.1). Annual non-food inflation was 3.6 percent in March 2017, same as in the preceding month.

On month-to-month basis, non-food inflation was 0.4 percent, slightly lower than 0.5 percent in March 2016. Year-on-year energy and fuel inflation eased to 11.5 percent in March 2017 from 12.3 percent in the previous month, whilst on month-month basis it was 1.4 percent in March 2017 compared with 2.1 percent in March 2016. Annual inflation of all items excluding food and energy—proxy for core inflation—was 2.2 percent in March 2017, as in the preceding month. On month-to-month basis, core inflation was 0.2 same, same as in March.