DAR ES SALAAM – Slowing food prices in Tanzania pushed its year-on-year inflation rate to 14.9 percent in August from 15.7 percent a month earlier, official data showed on Saturday, a trend that is expected to persist in coming months.
The National Bureau of Statistics said the increase in food and non-alcoholic drink prices eased over the 12-month period to 18.8 percent from 20.8 percent in July.
The monthly consumer price index rose 0.7 percent in August, compared with 0.1 percent in July, the statistics office said.
The food and non-alcoholic drink component, which accounts for 47.8 percent of the basket of goods used to measure inflation, rose 0.7 percent month-on-month in August.
The inflation rate is expected to keep slowing in coming months, helped by abundant food supplies.
“Good food production during July-August has led to a stabilisation of food prices … there are indications that Tanzanians are now shifting to commercial food production … hence the ample food availability,” Haji Semboja, a leading Dar es Salaam-based economist, told Reuters.
“If the government observes fiscal discipline and the good food harvests continue, the inflation rate should continue to fall.”
Like other east African countries, inflation in Tanzania was pushed higher last year by rising world food and fuel costs, worsened by poor rains that both hit harvests and local hydropower production.