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By Geoffrey Kapembwa

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Inflation in Zambia will slow in the second quarter because of a decline in food prices, the kwacha’s strength against “major” foreign currencies in the first quarter and a reduction in taxes, the central bank said.

Food costs are expected to fall because of increased supplies when this year’s crop-marketing season kicks off in May, the Bank of Zambia said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. It didn’t give a detailed forecast.

“There are a number of challenges to sustaining lower inflation during the second quarter,” the bank said. “Notably, high production costs due to electricity load shedding and increased transportation charges which are likely to affect all commodity prices.”

Zambia is Africa’s biggest copper producer. Inflation in the southern African nation accelerated to 9.8 percent in March, from 9.5 percent in February, the Central Statistical Office said on March 27.

To contact the reporter on this story: Geoffrey Kapembwa in Lusaka via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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