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Peter Mutharika optimistic on single digit inflation

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Malawi leader, President Peter Mutharika, has once again assured the nation that the country will by early next year achieve single digit inflation.

Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of the currency is falling.

Speaking during the opening of the 29th Malawi International Trade Fair (Mitf) on Wednesday, Mutharika said his government has lined up several policies that will see inflation going down further to single digit.

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“In 2014, the inflation was at 24 percent and today it stands at 14.6 percent. With the policies that we have put in place, by January or February next year, we should attain single digit inflation.

“We will continue improving the economy so that we create a business environment conducive for businesses. We will continue implementing productive macroeconomic policies to bring down inflation and interest rates far lower than you can imagine,” he said.

Mutharika’s sentiment follows, Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe’s statement made last week when he presented the 2017/18 national budget to Parliament.

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Gondwe said the current economic trends, will see inflation going down to single digit by next year.

“The annual rate of inflation has been declining steadily in recent months, reaching 15.8 percent as of end-March, 2017. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is the lowest level of inflation recorded in recent years and is mostly due to decrease in food prices, a relatively stable exchange rate, and lower international fuel prices.

“This trend is expected to continue due to a favourable agriculture season we have had this year, and also due to expected decline in international prices for petroleum products,” said Gondwe.

Gondwe said the downward trajectory will provide scope for monetary policy to gradually start unwinding its tight stance, thereby allowing the economy to continue recovering.

On his appointment as Reserve Bank Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, also said the current macro economic situation will see inflation going further down.

“I am getting back to work with the economic management team to ensure that the macro economy is sound and robust enough to support all economic activities of the country.

“Looking at the economy now, that inflation is slowly going down; it is the desire of the nation to see that inflation continues to go down to target the expectations which we have all shared, preferably a single digit inflation,” he said.

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