Maputo — The final figure for Mozambican inflation in 2013, as measured by the consumer price indices for the three largest cities (Maputo, Nampula and Beira), was 3.54 per cent, the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on Thursday.
This was well within the government's target for inflation over the year, which was that it should be no higher than seven per cent.
Inflation in December was 0.57 per cent. Most of the price rises for the month were for foodstuffs. Thus the price of tomatoes rose by 9.8 per cent, coconut by 5.2 per cent, cassava flour by 3.5 per cent, potatoes by 4.4 per cent, butter beans by 2.4 per cent, and frozen fish by 1.1 per cent. The price of charcoal, which is still a major fuel in Mozambican cities, rose by 1.3 per cent.
Inflation was at its highest at the start of 2013, with a 1.35 per cent 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. The economy then 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 0.25 per cent in August. Prices began to rise again with an increase of 0.24 per cent in both September and October, then 0.69 per cent in November, and now 0.57 per cent in December.
Although 2013 inflation was relatively low, it was higher than the figure of 2.02 per cent registered in 2012.
The average 12 monthly inflation rate over the year was 4.26 per cent, compared with 2.60 per cent at the end of 2012.
When each of the three cities is looked at individually, Beira had the highest inflation rate - 0.67 per cent - in December. In Maputo, prices rose by 0.64 per cent and in Nampula by only 0.43 per cent.
Taking the entire year, Nampula had the highest inflation rate of the three cities, at 5.23 per cent, followed by Maputo with 2.96 per cent. In Beira, however, prices only rose by only 1.81 per cent. Most of this was due to the November and December increases