Annual inflation climbs to 4.5%

MASERU — Lesotho’s annual inflation rate shot to 4.5 percent in June, up from the previous month’s rate of 3.8 percent, according to the latest figures released by the Bureau of Statistics last week.

Major monthly increases were recorded in the cost of fuels, rent, vegetables and footwear, according to the bureau.

The price for food basics such as vegetables also rose slightly by 1.2 percent while the cost of footwear increased marginally by 0.4 percent.

The monthly increases were offset by 1.2 and 0.2 percent decreases in the price indices for fuels and lubricants and bread and cereals respectively.

There have been two price cuts for fuel in May and June that have resulted in consumers having more disposable income.

The bureau said the main annual price increases were recorded in the price indices of transport with 6.6 percent, utilities such as housing, electricity, water, gas and other fuels increased by 5.9 percent.

The cost of goods and services rose by 4.8 percent, according to the bureau.

The food inflation was recorded at 3.9 percent, up from the 3.3 percent recorded the previous month.

Lesotho’s economy is closely linked to that of its giant neighbor South Africa.

Lesotho imports about 90 percent of its needs from South Africa.

South Africa has generally been able to contain its annual inflation rate within its target band of between three and six percent.

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