The National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on 6 June that the rate of inflation in Mozambique in May, as measured by the consumer price indices for the three largest cities (Maputo, Nampula and Beira), was negative, at minus 0.38 per cent.
May was the first month of the year in which prices fell. In April prices had risen by 0.12 per cent and in March by 0.91 per cent. The accumulated inflation in the first five months of the year was 2.02 per cent, down from the January-April figure of 2.42 per cent.
Foodstuffs accounted for almost all the decline in prices in May. The most significant price falls were for unmilled maize (20.8 per cent), cabbage (8.8 per cent), tomatoes (7.5 per cent) and coconuts (4.4 per cent).
The price of charcoal, still a significant fuel in Mozambican cities, fell by 0.8 per cent. There was a very slight fall, of 0.04 per cent in the transport division of the consumer price index.
There were differences between the three cities. The sharpest deflation was in Maputo where prices in May fell by 0.62 per cent. In Beira and Nampula, prices fell by 0.20 and 0.09 per cent respectively.
Taking the entire January to May period, Maputo experienced inflation of 3.38 per cent, while in the other two cities it was less than one per cent (Beira 0.76 per cent, and Nampula 0.68 per cent).