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Headline inflation eases to 25.8 percent

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Headline inflation—the rate at which commodity prices change at a given time in an economy—eased, albeit slightly, to 25.8 percent in November, latest figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) show.

This represents a 0.9 percentage point decline from 26.7 percent recorded in October 2022.

Consumer price indices for the month released by the NSO further show that food and non-food Inflation rates were seen at 33.4 and 17.7 percent, respectively.

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“The national month to month inflation rate for November 2022 stands at 2.6 percent. Food inflation rate is at 3.7 percent while non-food inflation rate is at 1.2 percent.

“The urban month to month inflation rate is at 3.0 percent. Urban food and non-food inflation rates stand at 4.4 and 1.7 percent, respectively,” reads the flash statistics.

It adds that the rural month-to-month inflation rate is at 2.3 percent whereas rural food and non-food inflation rates stand at 3.4 and 0.8 percent, respectively.

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In an interview, economic expert Murry Siyasiya said the development was good but does not reflect the reality.

“I feel that this is only on paper rather than reality. Prices and the cost of living continue to increase. Moreover, there has been no deliberate policy that has been enacted recently which should warrant any decline in inflation and later on cost of living.

“Also take note that the decline in inflation rate does not necessarily or automatically mean decline in prices or cost of living but it only signals the rate at which prices and associated cost of living are increasing. So, in general, the figures still tell us that prices and cost of living are increasing at those rates,” Siyasiya said.

Inflation has been on an upward trajectory lately, with its rising being attributed to the slipover effects of the Covid pandemic and the Russo- Ukrainian war which affected global supply chains.

In trying to arrest the inflation, the Reserve Bank of Malawi adjusted upwards the policy rate twice to 18 percent this year alone.

The International Monetary Fund projects Malawi’s headline inflation to average 20.8 percent this year and 22.7 percent in 2023.

Comparatively, the Treasury projects annual average inflation to rise to around 21.5 percent from 9.3 percent registered in 2021.

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