food baskets did not show significant increases in Q1-2019 with respect to the previous
quarter. Several African countries, however, saw sharp food price increases. These came on the back of market and supply chain disruptions related to conflict and insecurity (Congo DR, Central African Republic) or natural disaster (Mozambique); Fall Armyworm infestations (Congo DR); and infrastructure problems (Sierra Leone).
Year-on-year, tight supplies due to rainfall deficits and currency devaluation with consequent soaring input and fuel costs drove the price of the food basket up by more than 50 percent in Zambia and Sudan. Against the base line of the last five years, it remained 50 percent higher in Angola, Egypt, Iran, South Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen.
These elevated price levels are primarily a result of the sustained effects of currency devaluation, conflict and insecurity.
As in Q4-2018, year-on-year headline inflation was very high (between 40 and 60 percent) in Iran, Sudan and Zimbabwe, driven by currency devaluations amid the re-imposition of sanctions, higher taxes and a liquidity crisis,respectively. The Venezuelan Bolivar continues to stand out for its dramatic loss of value (99.9 percent year-on-year), followed by Sudan (69 percent), Argentina (50 percent) and Angola (35 percent).