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LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambian inflation rose to 14.7 percent year-on-year in May but the government remained optimistic it could meet a target of 10 percent in December with annual GDP growth at 5.8 percent, officials said on Thursday.

inflationThe Central Statistical Office (CSO) said the annual rate of inflation increased from 14.3 percent in April.

“The (rise) in the annual inflation rate in May was due to the increase in some prices of some food and non-food products,” the CSO said in a statement.

The CSO also said Zambia recorded a trade deficit of 135.5 billion kwacha in April after imports came in at 1.56 trillion kwacha, compared with exports of 1.43 trillion kwacha.

Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said the Treasury was optimistic that inflation would begin to decline and end the year at 10 percent following a bumper maize crop, which was likely to push food prices down.

“I am quite optimistic that the larger crop harvest this year will help to bring down inflation,” Musokotwane told a news conference.

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