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Increase in food prices concerns consumers

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Increase in food prices concerns consumers
UNHAPPY SHOPPERS: Food inflation on the rise?

A recent rise in food prices across many retail supermarkets has left consumers with a bitter taste.

Although economists have argued they do not foresee any surge in goods prices, including basic foodstuff, it seems this is not the case on the ground as the cost of many food items has risen noticeably in recent weeks.

The development has seen many take to social media to vent their frustrations, convinced that the move is designed to make them poorer.

Even though figures from Statistics Botswana indicate that core inflation rate in February this year was 3.5 percent, a 0.1 percent decrease from the January rate of 3.6 percent, Food and Non-Alcoholic beverages recorded a rise of 0.2 percent.

This growth is mainly attributed to the increase in the major section of indices of meat, bread and cereal.

While food prices are seemingly increasing, an economist, Dr. Keith Jefferis has downplayed the notion that food inflation is on the rise.

He explained that the increase in price of one or two food products does not necessarily mean inflation is on the rise.

According to the former Bank of Botswana (BoB) Deputy Governor, for food inflation to be considered to be increasing, it incorporates all the stuff in the food basket, not just a few products.

There have also been fears that the recent salary hikes of government employees may shoot up inflation. However, experts have allayed these fears, predicting inflation to remain at the lower objective range set by BoB of 3 – 6 percent.

For the past few years, inflation has been hovering at the bottom of this range, something which, according to the latest forecast, is expected to continue this year.