Maputo — Inflation in Mozambique in April was only 0.29 per cent, according to the latest figures issued by the National Statistics Institute (INE), and based on the consumer price indices for the three largest cities (Maputo, Nampula and Beira).
For the first four months of the year, inflation was 1.93 per cent. Inflation over the previous year (1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019) was 3.27 per cent. With inflation this low, Mozambique can almost certainly meet the government's target of single digit inflation (i.e. less than 10 per cent) this year.
Significant price rises in April were for onions (17.6 per cent), sweet potato (17.7 per cent), cabbage (13.4 per cent), maize flour (3.6 per cent), charcoal (3.6 per cent), and dried fish (1.85 per cent).
But the prices of several other products fell. Thus the price of fresh prawns fell by 9.8 per cent, of coconuts by 3.9 per cent, and of lettuce also by 3.9 per cent. The price of butter beans was down by 1.5 per cent, and that of the most commonly consumed fish in the cities, known as carapau, by 0.7 per cent. The average price of beer also fell by 0.7 per cent - perhaps because the main brewing company, CDM, recently introduced a new brand, "Dourada", which is much cheaper than its traditional brands.
The price cut which could have the greatest effect is the one per cent fall in the price of petrol.
The city by city statistics shows that life is much more expensive in Beira than in Maputo or Nampula - certainly because of the aftermath of cyclone Idai, which devastated the city on 14 March. The April inflation in Beira was 1.02 per cent, compared with 0.21 per cent in Nampula and only 0.07 per cent in Maputo.
For the first four months of the year, prices rose in Beira by 5.19 per cent, but inflation in Maputo over that period was 1.34 per cent, and in Nampula 0.86 per cent.