Inflation eases to 7.1% | The Times Group

Post was last updated: January 18, 2018

Malawi’s headline inflation eased by 0.6 percent in December to hit 7.1 percent, thanks to improved food availability, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has said.
The December 2017 inflation is 12.9 percentage points better than that recorded in December 2016.
NSO said urban and rural inflation rates stand at 6.8 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.
“Overall, food inflation stands at 4.3 percent from 4.7 percent in November 2017 while non-food inflation stands at 10 percent from 11 percent,” NSO said.
On average, Malawi’s headline inflation rate for 2017 averaged 11.5 percent compared to the annual headline inflation of 21.7 percent in 2016.
Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, last week said the central bank is committed to ensuring that inflation remains within the single digit bracket for the whole of 2018.
In its December 2017 economic brief, portfolio management and advisory firm Nico Asset Managers said food inflationary pressures are less likely to occur in the short term as the country continues to have food in abundance.
Nico further said non-food inflation may increase due to the possible rise in global oil prices, if the global cut in oil production succeeds, and if tensions in the Middle East persist.
Last week, the price of oil hit $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014.
Brent crude climbed after members of Opec, the cartel of 14 oil-producing nations that accounts for 40 percent of the world’s output, said it would continue to limit supplies.
Nico said other factors that could mount pressure on non-food inflation include the demand for wage increases, housing cost increases and high costs of production arising from power outages, which have forced firms to opt for more expensive power generation alternatives.

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