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Inflation inches up to 7.7% in January

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Kettie Nyasulu

Malawi’s headline inflation inched up by 0.1 percentage points to 7.7 percent in January, figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) show.

This is the second time inflation has increased since registering a drop in November 2020 to 7.3 percent from 7.5 percent in October 2020.

The January inflation represents a 1.3 percent increase when compared to the 7.6 percent rate recorded in December 2020.

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It, however, represents a 30.6 percent decrease when compared to the 11.1 percent inflation rate record in January 2020.

According to the NSO, urban month-to-month inflation rate is 1.7 percent while urban food and non-food inflation rates stand at 2.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively.

It further says rural month-to-month inflation rate is at 4.1 percent whereas rural food and non-food inflation rates stand at 6.0 and 1.3 percent, respectively.

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“The national month-to-month inflation rate for January 2021 stands at 3.1 percent compared to 2.6 percent registered in December, 2020.

“Food inflation rate is at 4.8 percent compared to 4.3 percent registered in December 2020 while non-food inflation is at 1.3 percent compared to 0.8 percent registered in December 2020,” reads a newsletter published by the NSO.

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) Executive Director Kettie Nyasulu said the trend was expected.

“Generally in Malawi, fuel prices and inter-seasonal maize prices significantly trigger inflation. Therefore, general prices were expected to adjust upwards due to the increase in fuel prices as well as the reduced stock of maize in the economy which has relatively increased its price.

“However, looking forward, we expect the inflation to go down and stabilise as we approach the harvest season,” Nyasulu said.

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