The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rate in Tanzania eased to 12.1 percent in November from 12.9 percent in October, attributed largely to the decline in food prices and energy costs. Although the inflation rate slowed down, prices of basic commodities remain high for average Tanzanians, thus purchasing power remained unchanged despite the decline in inflation.
In a statement, Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) noted that the decrease in annual headline inflation rate for the month of November explains that the speed of price increase for commodities in November has tempered off compared to October. In particular, food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased to 13.4 percent in November from 14.9 percent.
Nonetheless, prices in general remain too high and are beyond reach by average Tanzanian consumers. Overall index went up still to 133.87 in November from the 119.41 recorded in the same month in 2011.
The NCPI weights are based on monetary expenditures relating to consumption for all survey types of households in the 21 geographic regions of Tanzania. The index weights are based on expenditures of both urban and rural households. The reference period for the NCPI has been changed from December 2001 at 100 to September 2010 at 100.
NBS Director of Population and Social Statistics Ephraim Kwesigabo said a number of factors contributed to a slower fall of inflation rate including exchange rate and monetary policy issues.
Consumers, Kwesigabo added, may not feel the decline in inflation after all, saying opportunities to earn more must be built up as well to complement the high cost of living. The Tanzanian government has been focused on on easing inflation to single-digit rates, initially targeted for mid this year. This goal has been extended, however, until the middle of the coming year (2013) with the fundamental reasoning that projection is not realistic amid the continuing rise in the prices of vital consumer products such as fuel and food.