Maputo — Inflation in Mozambique in 2018 was just 3.52 per cent, according to the latest figures from the National Statistics Institute (INE), based on the consumer price indices of the three largest cities (Maputo, Nampula and Beira).
Despite fears of speculation during the festive season, inflation in December was only 0.37 per cent.
There were some price rises in the month - including for butter beans (24.9 per cent), dried fish (20.6 per cent), tomatoes (12.1 per cent), coconuts (6.1 per cent), onions (2.6 per cent), and wine (9.9 per cent).
But the prices of other goods remained stationary or fell - the main goods where prices declined were fresh fish (3.9 per cent), lemons (24.2 per cent) and petrol 0.8 per cent.
The annual inflation of 3.52 per cent can be regarded as a significant victory in the Bank of Mozambique's struggle to bring inflation under control. In 2017 inflation was 5.66 per cent, and in 2016 it had reached 25.26 per cent.
Throughout the year, inflation had remained low. In not a single month did inflation reach as much as one per cent. The month with the highest inflation was March, when it hit 0.97 per cent. In two months, June and July, inflation was negative, with price falls of 0.12 and 0.18 per cent.
The inflation trends were different in the three cities: it is more expensive to live in Maputo than elsewhere in the country. Inflation in Maputo on 2018 was 4.33 per cent. In Beira, it was 3.76 per cent, and in Nampula, it was 1.74 per cent.