Maize slows down cost of living in Malawi – Survey

The Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) says its April basic needs basket (BNB) survey for a family of six has revealed some cost of living stabilisation in Malawi’s cities.

The BNB survey contains prices reviews of basic food and non food items such as rent, school fees utility bills, soap, maize cooking and charcoal among others.

CfSC’s Social Conditions Officer Alex Nkosi said average cost of living in Malawi’s four cities slightly dropped by 0.83 percent to K95,707.50 in the month under review from K96,510.75 in March.

“The dropping of cost of living in Mzuzu, Zomba, Lilongwe and Blantyre was due to wide availability of food in the country as the survey was conducted during the maize harvesting,” said Nkosi.

People waiting to buy maize at Admarc depot

People waiting to buy maize at Admarc depot

The survey says prices for a 50kg bag of maize in Lilongwe dropped from K9,357 to K5,286, in Zomba from K6,700 to K4,150, Blantyre from K8,000 to K4,500 and in Mzuzu from K7,200 to K5,200.

The report says there was a 2 percent in average cost of living for April in Lilongwe at K103,261 and Blantyre K102,562.

On the contray the figures for Mzuzu K89,091 and Zomba’s K88,016, went up by about 1 percent.

The survey results for CfSC also tallies with National Statistical Office’s inflation results for March which dropped to 36.6 percent from 37 percent.

In reaction, market analyst, Chikavu Nyirenda said he was optimistic that there will be a continued drop in the inflation following improved food availability in the country.

He noted, however, that there is need for continued efforts to contain existing market pressures and maintain the country’s trend of a stable economy.

“The Malawi economy now sees stability to some extent as evidenced by the exchange rate appreciation compared to the case in the past months and a slight slowdown in the inflation figures,” said Nyirenda.

The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) was quoted in the press advising authorities to manage the nation’s projected maize surplus of 740,000 tonnes.

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