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April inflation hits 15.7%

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Commencement of the harvesting season in some parts of the country, especially in the Southern Region, could not contain inflationary pressure in April 2022 as headline inflation jumped to 15.7 percent from 14.1 percent in March.

This is ironic, especially that, traditionally in the country, inflation pressure is seen easing from April, which is normally the harvesting season for maize, Malawi’s staple commodity.

But latest figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) show that both food and non-food inflation remained elevated in April 2022.

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In its inflation update issued Wednesday, the NSO shows that non-food inflation increased to 12.2 percent in the month under review from 10.5 percent, largely due to the 22 percent average fuel price hike the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority effected mid-April.

Food inflation also rose to 19.5 percent from 17.1 percent in March 2022.

In an interview Wednesday, Centre for Social Concern Programmes Manager Bernard Mphepo said the future remains murky as commodity prices are expected to continue rising, at least in the foreseeable future.

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He attributed the rise in inflation to exogenous shocks coupled with the country’s insatiable appetite for imports.

“It is really a worrisome situation that inflation continues to rise. We, as a country, should brace for tough times considering that this is not the trend we were expecting,” Mphempo said.

Already, the Reserve Bank of Malawi said it sees domestic inflation remaining in double digits throughout 2022.

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