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Inflation Observer

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Inflation Observer

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Created by:
Africa Data Hub
Data source:


Last updated:
May 10, 2023


About this resource

The Africa Data Hub Inflation Observer is created to help journalists, researchers and civil society organisations access up to date information about consumer price inflation (CPI) indicators in their country. 

What is the African Inflation Observer?

The African Inflation Explorer uses historical data sourced from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is supplemented by monthly statistical releases from central banks or national statistics offices from individual countries. The full source list is available here

Why don’t these numbers match local news reports?

There are two reasons that a number in the Inflation Explorer may not match local news reports.

  1. There’s a mistake in our data. It’s entirely possible - while accuracy is our first priority, sometimes errors slip through. It may be that we’ve made a mistake in importing numbers, or that there was an error already in the data source when we collated it. Either way, please get in touch so we can investigate on our side.
  2. This is not the same data that is reported locally. Our dataset uses the All Country data as reported to the IMF or by a local stats office, but in a few cases - such as South Africa or the USA - national stats offices and news organisations focus reporting on the CPI rate for Urban Areas only. We intentionally do not follow local protocols here for two reasons. Firstly, it wouldn’t make for a fair comparison between countries. Looking at urban-only data for one country and all country data somewhere else would be comparing apples to oranges. Secondly, the urban rate excludes a large part of the population, who often experience higher inflation than those living in cities where economies of scale can keep prices lower. 

All economic measures are generalisations, and there are a lot of reasons why CPI or GDP etc can be problematic when used without some extra context.

What are COICOP indicators?

The indicators we show include the all items headline rate of inflation, as well as a breakdown by standard classification of individual consumption by purpose (COICOP) indicators for specific types of goods and services.

Where can I find out more about CPI in Africa?

See our series of articles on the subject:

What are the limitations of this dataset?

The core historical data comes from the IMF, collates monthly data from national statistical agencies relating to month-on-month and year-on–year changes in both headline numbers and COICOP categories, which reflect specific areas such as housing, transport and food prices. This database is available here

Countries are not obliged to report to the IMF monthly, and as a result only a few have a complete record in the parent database. Africa Data Hub enriches this data by capturing up-to-date data directly from national statistical authorities or central banks in this list

As far as we are aware, this dataset now uses the most up-to-date information from every country, although we are discovering new and more regularly updated sources of data all the time. Please get in touch if you believe that we are missing important data that you are aware of. 

Please also note that 2022 data for Malawi has been deliberately excluded, due to a rebase that took place in December 2021 which makes this year's data hard to compared on an annual basis. Please use this page for more information.

Where can I find the full dataset Africa Data Hub has created?

The full dataset, along with a complete list of authorities that publish inflation data in Africa, is available in the ADH repository here. If you are aware of any errors or wish to contact ADH regarding this dataset, please use this email address:

Can I re-use this data?

You can, but you will need to credit the IMF and Africa Data Hub as the source.

Video introduction

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