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Malawi’s Inflation Hits 29.2% - 10-year Record High

Malawi’s Inflation Hits 29.2% - 10-year Record High

Malawi’s year-on-year inflation for the month of May stood at 29.2 percent on account of rising food inflation, and experts warn it projects a continued rise in the cost of living and a decline in purchasing power.

This is a record high rate since June 2013 when headline inflation was recorded at 27.9 percent.

Analysts also say this could lead to a continued pile of pressure on other key macroeconomic fundamentals.

Figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) show that during the month under review, food and non-food inflation rates stood at 38.8 percent and 18.4 percent, respectively.

The report shows that urban month-to-month inflation rate is at 1.1 percent.

Urban food and nonfood inflation rates stood at 2.0 percent and 0.2 percent respectively

The rural month-to-month inflation rate was at 1.7 percent. Rural food and nonfood inflation rates stood at 1.9 percent and 1.3 percent respectively

The Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) says households will continue to struggle to access basic food and non-food items as prices of most basic needs continue to rise, a trend that the body predicts will continue.

A CfSC Basic Needs Basket shows that the cost of living or the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living rose with 46 percent.

Findings by the centre in May showed a family of six now needed K377, 000 to survive in a month, a rise from K250 000 per month during the same period in 2022.

CfSC Programs Officer for Economic Governance Bernard Mphepo said most Malawians are hardly surviving as incomes are not reflecting the living costs.

“It is sad that the cost of living continues to rise yet family income remains stagnant. It is just a matter of doing the right things right. Malawians needs to be cushioned. Winter cropping may work and push prices of food downwards which may push inflation downwards,” suggested Mphepo.

Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director John Kapito says consumers have been left with little breathing space.

Kapito told Zodiak Online the rise in inflation has been necessitated by global factors, the war in Ukraine for example, and the recent Cyclone Freddy.

Kapito, however, is worried that there is little effort being done to cushion Malawians.

“Malawians are struggling with the high cost of living. It is unfortunate that there is no way out,” he said.

Cyclone Freddy and the war in Ukraine pushed prices of basic commodities up, a situation that economic experts say may take a little while to normalize.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 21/06/2023

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