Inflation rises to 9%, adding to Malawi cost of living squeeze

The much touted single digit national month to month inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), continues to take an upward turn with one step up by 0.1 percent as households are feeling the pain from rising  cost of living.

Technically, inflation refers to the rate of the general rise or movement in prices of goods and services consumed in an economy. It is also defined as a general and sustained rise in the level of prices of goods and services.

According to National Statistics Office (NSO), the rate for March  2018 stands at -0.9 percent compared to 2.1 percent in February, 2018.

For two months in a row, the inflation has been on rise despite basic food prices especially maize being on a decrease.

Food inflation is at -2.7 percent compared to 2.4 percent recorded in February, 2018 while Non Food inflation is 0.7 percent compared to 1.9 percent in February, 2018.

“The Urban month to month inflation rate records 0.5 percent. Urban Food and Non food inflation rates stand at -0.4 and 1.0 percent respectively,” says NSO in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The rural month to month inflation rate registers -2.1 percent. Rural Food and Non food inflation rates stand at -3.9 and 0.2 percent respectively.

In his numerous addresses, President Peter Mutharika highlights the single-digit inflation rate among his administration’s achievements in terms of economic management.

According to economic commentators, stable inflation is one critical factor of macroeconomic fundamentals. It helps both individuals and businesses to make long-term plans. It is a factor towards an improved business environment alongside lower real interest rates.

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