Inflation rises to 8.1%, adding to Malawi cost of living squeeze

Malawian households are feeling the pain from rising inflation after the cost of living rose has gone up by one percent, from 7.1 percent recorded in December to 8.1 percent for January 2018, National Statistical Office (NSO) has revealed.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation during the same period was recorded at 4.5 percent with food inflation rate at 8.4 percent while non-food inflation was recorded at 1.4 percent.

At the current revised weight, food constitute 45.2 percent in the CPI, prior to January, food contribution to the consumer price index (CPI) has been at 50.1 percent.

NSO said the current revised CPI weights, are based on monetary expenditures relating to consumption for all households across the country.

“The index weights are based on expenditures of both urban and rural households derived from the Fourth Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) which was conducted in 2016/2017. The price reference period is December 2017,” explains NSO in a statement issued out on Thursday.

Food and non-food inflation rate stood at 7.6 percent and 9.6 percent respectively.

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) executive director MalekaThula recently said that the increase in maize prices has the potential to reverse the path of inflation dynamics in the country, but the actual impact remains unclear in the meantime.

During the same period last year, headline inflation rate for January was recorded at 18.2 percent.

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