Family Of Six Now Requires ZW$73k Per Month

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By Alois Vinga

A family of six now requires a whopping $72 967 to meet their basic needs, with part of the price increases being attributed to market speculation among other factors, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has revealed.

The consumer rights lobby group said the increases between the periods November to December 2021 indicates a total 25,19% increase.

“The family basket for a low-income earner for a family of six as measured by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe increased from ZW$58 284 recorded in the month of November 2021 to $72 967 indicating an increase of 25,19%,” CCZ said.

The current cost of living implies that a family of six now requires US$363 using the current parallel market exchange rates per month to meet their monthly requirements or US$672 based on the official rate.

The consumer group said the food basket increased by ZW$2 785,17 recorded from the sum of $22 517 as at the end of November 2021.

During the review period, the price of detergents increased by ZW$128, 48.

“The increase to December 2021 can be attributed to education expenses, mainly school uniforms, which increased by 229,33 % from ZW$3750 to $12 350.

“Inflation was the major driver so was the increase of fuel and influence of the exchange rate and speculation by consumers which fuelled demand during the festive season. Most consumers were hoarding groceries in anticipation of price movements,” CCZ said.

The consumer group did not disclose the formula used to arrive at such figures.

However, the surge in the cost of living comes at a time when most workers are earning salaries which are way below the cost of living, a development which some market watchers have partly attributed to the emerging culture of employers who continue to take advantage of their workers despite recording huge profits.

Apart from known inflationary pressures, companies in the country often hike prices in a manner which does not necessarily reflect economic fundamentals but is influenced by profiteering and taking advantage of varying seasonal demand for goods and services.