Maputo — Prices continued to fall in Mozambique in August, according to the consumer price indices for the three main cities (Maputo, Beira and Nampula), the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on Monday
The inflation rate for August was minus 0.25 per cent. This was the fourth month in a row of falling prices, and it brings the accumulated inflation for the first eight months of 2013 to 1.76 per cent. This is easily within the government's target for an annual inflation rate of no more than seven per cent this year.
Inflation was at its highest at the start of the year, with a 1.35 inflation rate in January. This fell to 1.16 per cent in February, 0.3 per cent in March, and 0.25 per cent in April. From then on the economy entered a period of slight deflation - prices fell by 0.42 per cent in May, 0.38 per cent in June, 0.23 per cent in July, and now 0.25 per cent in August.
The August price fall is accounted for by a few important foodstuffs. Thus the price of tomatoes fell by 8.7 per cent, onions by 4.9 per cent, cabbage by 7.8 per cent, potatoes by 2.4 per cent, live chickens by 1.8 per cent and maize flour by 0.6 per cent.
There were slight increases in the prices of umilled maize and dry fish. Taken together the category of foodstuffs and non-alcoholic drinks saw an overall price decline of 0.24 per cent. There were very slight drops in health and transport costs, and an equally slight rise in the clothing and footwear category.
The largest decline was in Maputo, where prices fell by 0.5 per cent. In Beira the fall was 0.15 per cent, but in Nampula prices rose by 0.06 per cent.
The inflation rate over the past year is 4.34 per cent, and the average 12 monthly inflation rate between September 2012 and August 2013 was 3.53 per cent.
The pattern for price fluctuations in recent years is that inflation has been quite large in January, falls sharply in the middle of the year, then rises again in the last couple of months.