RBZ maintains inflation is going down despite rising cost of living

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By Alois Vinga

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) maintains the country’s inflation has continued on its downward spiral since June 2019 despite a public outcry over the ever-rising cost of living.

According to the central bank’s latest economic review covering the month of September 2019, monthly inflation, which has been on a downward trend since June 2019, decelerated further to 17.72% in September 2019, from 18.07% in August 2019.

“This was underpinned by the decline in non-food inflation which stood at 16.63% in September 2019, down from 17.78% in August 2019,” the report says.

According to the central bank, monthly food inflation rose by just 1 % from 18.54% in August, to 19.54% in September 2019, on account of increases in bread and cereals, meat, vegetables and oils and fats prices.

“Prices of bread and mealie-meal surged, largely as a result of shortages of wheat and maize grain, respectively. Meat product prices also registered increases, particularly pork and poultry, due to the rise in the cost of stock feed,” the report said.

However, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) in September 2019 said a family of five people required at least $2 192 to meet its basic needs for it not to be deemed poor, representing a 20 percent jump from the previous month.

The jump reflected a continued increase in the prices of goods and services, after the figure jumped from $1 827 in August 2019.

ZimStats said during the same month, an individual required $176.61, up from $145.06 in August.

The obtaining circumstances have led to a gross under-estimation of the hardships Zimbabwean workers are going through as the majority are still earning below $1 000.

Civil servants have since declared incapacitation to continue reporting for work with the recent doctors’ strike having reached an all-time worst record after entering a continuous four month period.