A recent hike in the price of petroleum products may have a negative effect in Zambia's annual rate of inflation, the country's statistics office said on Thursday. Last week, the country's energy regulator, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) increased pump prices for fuel by 7.22 percent for petrol and 8.75 percent for diesel, a move that has received wide condemnation with analysts predicting a rise in the cost of essential commodities. Central Statistical Office (CSO) Director John Kalumbi said during a monthly media briefing that the recent hike in fuel prices will likely affect the annual rate of inflation for next month. "The effect of the recent fuel hike will likely be felt next month and it may result in an upward adjustment in the annual inflation rate," he said, adding that the magnitude of the effect will depend on the commodities affected by the fuel increase. In his 2014 budget address, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda projected to attain an end year inflation of no more than 6.5 percent. Meanwhile the country has recorded an increase in the annual rate of inflation for April. The inflation has increased to 7.8 percent in April compared to 7.7 percent in March. "There has been a marginal increase in the annual rate of inflation and this is mainly attributed to the increases in non- food items," Kalumbi said. According to figures, the annual rate of inflation increased for alcoholic beverages and tobacco, clothing and footwear as well as furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance.