Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Charles Chuka has pegged Malawi’s average inflation rate for 2012 at 21.4 percent.
The projected rate is three percentage points higher than the 18.4 percent rate which was announced by Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga in the 2012/13 national budget.
“Inflation has been pushing very much. We expect average inflation rate to hit 21.4 percent and at that rate, we think it has picked up,” said Chuka on Wednesday.
He was speaking at a news conference at RBM headquarters in Lilongwe when he issued an end-of-year statement which also provided a general outlook for 2013 on monetary policy implementation.
Year-on-year average headline inflation rate during 2012 has been rising from a single-digit rate at the end of 2011 to record double digits rates.
Headline inflation rate for November 2012 jumped 2.7 percentage points to 33.3 percent triggered by volatile food and energy prices, as reported by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
The continued rise in the average price of goods and services in 2012 pointed to a further erosion of purchasing power and real savings by many consumers as prices increase at a faster rate.
With about two million Malawians reportedly facing food shortage, the rising inflation rate has since threatened to thrust the poor into wretched poverty as food is pushed out of their reach.
But Chuka, while admitting that economic reforms being implemented are unleashing misery among more Malawians, projected that the December 2012 headline inflation rate, yet to be released by NSO, will likely jump to 35 percent.