Malawiansâ€™ disposable income is under threat as the cost of living in the countryâ€™s four cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu is still rising.
This is according to the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) October 2012 report.
The rise in the cost of living also coincides with the rise in inflation, currently at 28.3 percent as of September 2012 with indications that the
figures will continue rising in the short to medium term.
The CfSC report, which indicates the cost basic needs, shows that the cost of living has generally gone up largely on account of increases in both food and non-food basic needs.
Since September, the report shows that the cost of living for Blantyre rose the highest among all the cities by 6.4 percent from K75 543 to K81 595, the food basket being the main driving factor which rose by about 13 percent to K45 835 from K40 953 per household per month.
Lilongwe, which remains the most expensive among the four cities, has its cost of living marginally rising from K85 997 to K86 193, Zomba from K68 417 to K69 544 and Mzuzu rose from K73 670 to K74 600 per household per month.
This, therefore, means that to live in any of the four cities, a household has to earn at least K70 000 per month to make ends meet.
The Basket Needs Basket (BNB) report, which is broken down into food and non food baskets, indicates that Blantyre has the highest cost of food basket at K45 835 while Zomba has the lowest at K40 464 per month.
Lilongwe, however, registered the highest non-food basket with an average of K43 751 per household with housing rentals as the main contributor at K24 959, the highest among the four.
Housing in Blantyre averaged K15 788, Zomba K14 458, and Mzuzu K13 516 per three-bedroom house per month, according to the report.
According to the report, a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize sells at K3 171 about K63.42 per kg in Lilongwe while in Blantyre the same quantity sells at K3 500, Zomba K3 400 and Mzuzu K 2 460.
However, according to data published by the Ministry of Agriculture in the first half of October, maize in Limbe was selling at K73.12 per kg, Zomba K72.5 per kg and Lilongwe K70 per kg.
The BNB, among other things, includes electricity, water utility, charcoal, sugar, beef, beans, dry utaka, usipa and bread.
It also includes other additional items such as secondary school fees per year which indicates that Lilongwe averaged K8 415, Zomba K7 525, Blantyre K6 000 and Mzuzu K7 600.