Fears over rising commodity prices – The Times Group

Inflation inches up to 28.6% in August – The Times Group

Post was last updated: September 18, 2023

Figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) have shown that the country’s headline inflation inched upwards to 28.6 percent in August 2023.

This represents a 0.2 percentage point increase when compared to the 28.4 percent inflation recorded in July 2023 and a 3.1 percentage point jump when compared to the 25.5 percent inflation recorded in august 2022.

A Statistics Flash published by the NSO indicates that food and non-food inflation rates are at 39.4 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.

“The national month to month inflation rate for August 2023 stands at 1.8 percent. Food inflation rate is at 2.3 percent while non-food inflation rate is at 1.2 percent. The urban month to month inflation rate is at 1.4 percent.

Urban Food and non-food inflation rates stand at 1.9 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. The rural month to month inflation rate is at 2.0 percent. Rural food and non-food inflation rates stand at 2.5 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively,” the Flash Stats reads.

In a recent interview, Consumers Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito said the high cost of living is perpetuated by the country’s insatiable appetite for foreign products, coupled with the government’s excessive borrowing.

Kondwani Hara

In a separate interview, Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) Project Officer Kondwani Hara said rising food prices continued to pile pressure and pushed headline inflation up.

He said, to contain the pressure, there is a need to establish sector based-minimum wages.

“To get to the bottom of the problem, we need to develop sectors such as mining and agriculture that could boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

“Malawi is endowed with a lot of mineral resources that, if harnessed, could transform the economy while in the agriculture sector we need to embrace irrigation farming to boost food security that could reduce the cost of living by checking the cost of maize on the market,” Hara said.

Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu said the country needs to produce more food and that timely rolling out of the Affordable Inputs Programme will help Malawians realise good harvests should they receive adequate rain.

“The launch of the mega farms is another important area that will enhance food production and drive down the prices of food,” Kunkuyu said.

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