Malawi economic outlook gloomy as inflation goes up, Kwacha on free-fall

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Malawi kwacha volatile against major trading currencies

ZOMBA (MalawiTalk) – Recent rise in fuel prices has triggered the rise in inflation which is in turn pushing commodity prices up.

Malawi’s year-on-year inflation as measured by consumer price index (CPI) now stands at 8.3 % following a 0.6 % increase in February.

Latest data from the National Statistical Office (NSO) in the eastern city of Zomba, confirms that inflation, which is the general rise of commodity prices in an economy, rose by 0.6 % points from 7.7 % before last month.

According to the NSO’s Consumer Price Index, food and non-food inflation rates are now at 10.3 % and 6.3 % respectively.

Meanwhile, Blantyre-based Economist Mr Sam Chiwaula has attributed the development to the rising fuel prices which are exerting pressure on prices of other commodities.

Maize prices are also going up. Maize, as part of the food component, impacts the country’s economy as it constitutes 45.2 percent of the CPI.

The local currency, the kwacha,  continues to weaken against all major convertibles.

Malawi kwacha volatile against major trading currencies

The weakening in the value of the kwacha also comes deep into a time when the country is facing shortage in foreign reserves.

Malawi experiences significant seasonal volatility in its foreign exchange inflows, with earnings from the key tobacco export crop concentrated during a period between March to August.

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