Most Malawians are spending cautiously during this year’s festive season as they continue to face the rise in the cost of living, with the inflation rate now hitting 33.3 percent.
The country’s inflation quickened by 2.7 percent in November to hit 33 percent as both food and non-food prices escalated, according to National Statistical Office (NSO).
NSO said urban and rural rates are 38.5 percent and 30.2 percent respectively.
“Food inflation has gone up by 33.4 percent compared to 3.5 percent experienced during the same period last year,” says NSO.
Core inflation, on the other hand, has gone up by 33.2 percent compared to 14.2 percent during the same period last year.
This, according to NSO, is due to the recent price increases of gasoline; house rentals; electricity and beverages and tobacco.
Christmas day (December 25) is a day when the Christian community commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who they believe is the promised son of God.
And just a day before Christmas most people as usual characterized various shops in all regions, cities and districts in Malawi trying to buy anything for this festive season.
Mostly are food products which are selling like hot cakes.
At Blantyre produce market, congestion has become the order of the day as customers are flocking to the market which stocks a variety of these food products including Irish potato, chickens, and rice.
For some traders especially those selling chickens and beef products, business has greatly picked up.
Customers have continuously been flocking to their respective stalls to buy several of these food items products.
However for other traders, this year has not been good due to the current economic situation where customers are not forthcoming to buy various products.
Unlike the past years, business has not been good as expected during this festive season amid escalating cost of living.
The police have intensified security across the country to reduce criminal activities during the festive season.
In the southern region, the police have been deployed in various places in an effort to reinforce peace and order.
Giving details to Capital fm, spokesperson in the region Nicholas Gondwa said the law enforcers will arrest all motorists found drunk while driving.
Reports of burglary and theft are common during the festive season as some people leave their homes unattended to for celebration activities as well as prayers.
Gondwa has assured people in the region that security is guaranteed as both civilian and uniformed police officers will be patrolling day and night.