In Madagascar, the rise in prices of basic necessities could almost be a non-event as it is regular and recurrent since last September. But the situation has become extremely delicate for a majority of Malagasy, forced to change their eating habits and their pace of life.
But the population cannot frankly hope for an upturn for 2018, according to forecasts made this February 19 by the Central Bank and the National Institute of Statistics.
In the Malagasy capital, the market stalls are well stocked but the buyers’ basket is much less crowded than usual.
Tsiky works as a housekeeper. In front of a vegetable vendor, she hesitates, the note in her hand. “Three months ago, with 200 ariary (5eurocents), you could buy four tomatoes,” she explains.
From now on, we only have one. But the problem is that for people like me, who work in the private sector, we did not increase our salary. So, it’s not easy to live with this price increase.
Rising prices are widespread, for rice, charcoal, electricity, fuel and even newspapers. On February 19, the Central Bank issued its forecasts. The Malagasy currency should know in 2018 a further depreciation of its value, more than 5.2% compared to 2017.
Inflation slightly down
If the price of food grown in Madagascar should theoretically not be affected, that of imported products such as energy, building materials or rice should increase.
For its part, the National Institute of Statistics still forecasts a consumer price inflation of 7.7% for 2018 against 8.3% in 2017.
“Inflation slightly down, therefore,” says the Director General, Clement Rajaonera.
This taste of “less bad” will not do away with the consternation of officials and indirectly, that of employees of the private sector, facing the non-increase in their salary in early 2018.