Malawi’s overall inflation rate drops to 25.2%

The National Statistical Office (NSO) in eastern city of Zomba  has said year on year inflation rate for the month of July, 2013 now stands at 25.2 percent down from 27.9 percent recorded in June.

The NSO said the urban and rural rates stood at 34.2 percent and 24.2 percent respectively while non-food inflation has maintained its descent settling at 30.7 percent from 32.5 percent for last month.

The stats body said this is the fourth time for Malawi’s inflation to register decline this year starting from May.

The decline in commodity prices is a relief to millions of consumers in the southern African nation, majority of whom were getting crushed under the weight of high cost of living months ago.

Signs of good times: Dip in inflation
Signs of good times: Dip in inflation

Finance Minister Ken Lipenga said mid in the year that despite the fact that the country’s inflation peaked at a high of 37.9 percent in February this year, the good news is that the rate has started going down.

“Already by April 2013, headline inflation had started responding to our measures and eased to 35.8 percent, due to a tight fiscal and monetary stance implemented by the government and new food harvests which had began to reach the markets,” Lipenga said.

He continued to say inflation is expected to slow down to 14.2 percent by December, 2013 and further projected that it will eventually sink to 7 percent by December 2014 backed by the resilience and the picking up of the country’s economic activities.

Some of the activities that government is bench-marking for growth include boosting the mining sector, increased trade between Malawi, the regional and international markets and advancement of agriculture countrywide.

Malawi’s economy was on a brink of collapse after  Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office of a heart attack, picked a disastrous fight with donors whose support accounted for almost 40 percent of the budget.

President Joyce Banda has wooed back foreign donors and worked with the International Monetary Fund on a new financial support programme. Her government has also removed fuel subsidies and cut the kwacha’s peg to the dollar, which resulted in a 50 devaluation for the local currency.

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