By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE’S monthly inflation, which has been on a downward trend for the last six months, reduced further by another 0.35%.
This is according to the latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) monthly economic review.
“Monthly inflation 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,” reads the document entitled, “Monthly-Economic-Review-September-2019”.
The report says monthly food inflation however accelerated 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,” it has been indicated.
During the month under review, merchandise imports rose by 5 % to US$404 million in September 2019, from US$384 million in August 2019.
The increase was largely on account of higher imports of diesel, fertilisers, medicines and electricity.
The country’s import sources largely comprised South Africa (40.2%); Singapore (23.2%); China (7.6%); India (4.4%) and Mauritius (3.6%).
Notably, monthly merchandise exports increased by 9.5% to US$378.4 million in September 2019 owing to increases in export earnings from flue cured tobacco (41.0%); nickel ores & concentrates (31.8%); and gold (7.7%).
“The country’s export basket continued to be biased towards primary commodities, with gold, nickel and flue-cured tobacco contributing about 72.0% of the country’s export earnings, during the period under review,” said RBZ in the review.
The country’s exports were destined for South Africa, 41.1%; United Arab Emirates, 27.1%; Mozambique, 8.1%; Swaziland, 1.6%; and Zambia, 1.4%; Hong Kong, 0.7%; China, and Kenya, 0.6%, during the month under review.