Basic commodity prices increase by 10 percent, ZimStat

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By Alois Vinga

PRICES of basic commodities increased by over 10 percent in the month of November, Zimbabwe National Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) has revealed.

The percentage increase has seen the month on month inflation rate increasing to 31.01 percent up from 20.85 percent recorded in October 2018.

The year-on-year inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the same month in the previous year.

Compared to the same month last year, food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose by over 20 percent.

Non-food commodities also rose by over five percent.

In October, the country’s inflation rate hit high levels since 2008 after severe forex shortages led to a surge in prices of food, drinks and clothes.

Zimstat said the annual inflation rate shot up 20.85 percent in October from 5.39 percent in September after the dollar shortage led to a collapse in Zimbabwe’s parallel currency – the bond note – triggering sharp price hikes in many goods and services.

The CPI has been published since 2013 with new weights and classifications in accordance with international guidelines. The use of a new Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) resulted in the creation of a new classification.

However, acclaimed economist and currency expert, Steve Hanke, who is a professor of Applied Economics and co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at the Johns Hopkins University argues that according to his index, inflation rate in Zimbabwe has gone way over 100 percent.