Malawi’s year-on-year headline inflation rate for July 2021 eased by 0.4 percentage points to 8.7 percent on account of declining food prices, National Statistical Office (NSO) figures released yesterday show.
This means that the value of money declined at a slower rate.
During the month under review, food inflation declined by 0.8 percentage points to 10.3 percent from 11.1 recorded the previous month.
Non-food inflation, on the other hand, remained stable at 7.2 percent, respectively.
Reads the NSO July 2021 newsletter in part: “The divisions above the 8.7 percent headline inflation rate [year on year)] for July 2021 are transportation [11.2 percent] and food [10.3 percent].
“In the non-food category, the three categories with the highest year on year inflation for July 2021 are transportation, housing, water and electricity and furnishing and household at 11.2 percent, 7.8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively.”
Reacting to the figures, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito yesterday said continued pressure on the kwacha and rising maize and global fuel prices paints a gloomy outlook for consumers.
He said: “Most of the high food prices have been triggered by the high transport costs currently farmers and traders in the food sector experiencing high costs to move their produce to various markets but it’s been discovered that inputs such pesticides and packaging have relatively gone up.”
According to NSO, the prices of goods and services in the basket for the urban areas grew at a lower rate compared to those in the basket for the rural areas.
The figures show that in the rural areas, transportation has the highest year-on-year inflation rate at 16.7 percent, followed by food at 11.9 percent and furnishing and household at 11.3 percent.
On other hand, in the urban areas restaurant and hotels year-on-year inflation rate has the highest percentage at 7.8 percent followed by food at 7.4 percent.
Maize, as part of the food component, accounts for about 45.2 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is an aggregate basket of goods and services for computing inflation