Despite consumers paying fair prices for food, Blantyre has in the month of April been rated as the most expensive city in the country, according to Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) survey.
In its April 2017 Basic Needs Basket Report, CfSC indicates that at K187 910 per month, Blantyre remains the expensive city followed by Lilongwe at K183 773, Mangochi at K173 470, Zomba at K157 456 and Karonga at K153 555 while at K150 552, Mzuzu came out as the cheapest city.
This is, however, despite Karonga (K103 672) and Mangochi (K103 109) having the most expensive food items during the month under review.
Food items cost K102 989 in Blantyre, K97 622 in Mzuzu, K94 635 in Lilongwe and K92 444 in Zomba.
On average, cost of living for a family of six eased to K168 286 from K173 445 mainly on account of declining maize prices, with a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize costing an average of K8 250 per bag.
Declining maize prices also necessited the toning down of Malawi’s year-on-year headline inflation rate, with the April rate down by 1.2 percentage points to 14.6 percent from 15.8 percent the previous month.
In an interview with Business News on Friday, Catholic University head of economics department Gilbert Kachamba said while it is expected that the consumers buying power will increase, the challenge is that it is very hard most of the times for people to feel the change in inflation when it is decreasing as compared to when it is increasing.
“In theory, it is expected that the consumers buying power will increase as most of the consumption for Malawians is on food. But the challenge is on the notion that it is very hard most of the times for people to feel the change in inflation when it is decreasing as compared to when it is increasing,” he said.