Family of six now requires ZWL$68 180 per month – says ZimStat

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By Alois Vinga

A FAMILY of six now requires a total of ZW$68 178 to meet basic needs per month as inflation continues to surge, according to latest data from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStat).

This comes at a time when the Zimbabwean dollar has taken massive knocks against the United States dollar, with the parallel exchange rate – which is predominantly used on the market – now standing at US$1: ZW$350.

Prices of basic goods and services have rocketed over the month of April, against diminishing incomes.

The statistics agency data shows that the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for Zimbabwe has increased significantly over the past month.

“The TCPL for one person stood at $11 363,46 per person in April 2022. This means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at April 2022 in order not to be deemed poor,” ZimStat said.

This represents an increase of 17,1% compared to the March 2022 figure of $9 708,15.

Effectively, therefore, a family of six now requires ZW$68 180,76 to survive through the month.

The April 2022 monthly inflation rose to 15,5% up from 6,3% recorded in March 2022.

The mean month-on-month inflation rate for the period January to December 2020 was 13,8%, while the mean month-on-month inflation rate for the same period in 2019 was 17%.

The mean month-on-month inflation rate from January to December 2021 was 4%.

The mean month-on-month inflation rate from January to April 2022 was 9,3%.

The month-on-month Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages inflation rate stood at 18,5% in April 2022, gaining 12,5% on the March 2022 rate of 6%. The month-on month non-food inflation rate stood at 13,3 percent, gaining 6,8 percentage points on the March 2022 rate of 6,5 percent.

During the period under review, the year-on-year inflation rate (annual percentage change) for the month of April 2022 as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 96,4% which means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by a similar rate between April 2021 and April 2022.

The food poverty line (FPL) as at April 2022 stood at ZW$8365,88. This means that the minimum needs basket cost that much per person in April 2022 representing an increase of 18,5 percent over the March 2022 figure of ZW$7 061,68.

The month-on-month Food and Non- Alcoholic Beverages inflation rate stood at 18,5 percent in April 2022, gaining 12,5% points on the March 2022 rate of 6%.

Commenting on the surge in inflation rates, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Kurai Matsheza said while the resurgence of inflation is a cause of concern, the only way out is to chart the way forward through engagement.

“We are certainly worried because this is not a good development. We appreciate the fact that part of the inflationary pressures is being fuelled by external pressures like the Russia/Ukraine War. Locally, the challenges posed by exchange rate depreciation is also contributing to the surge of inflation.

“However, we believe that if we continue to work together through dialogue and engagement with the authorities we will be able to resolve the obtaining challenges and find a way out,” he said.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, Florence Taruvinga said the current inflationary pressures contradict the 2030 vision.

“The current situation simply means that the country is still far from reaching its target to be an upper middle income economy. Austerity measures have not been good for workers, neither are the policies promulgated hinged on such reasoning.

“Notably, policy missteps have also contributed a lot to the inflation which has seen the prices of basic commodities continuing to be beyond reach, while socio economic rights continue to be  violated,” she said.

Taruvinga underscored that the growth of an economy is measured by the kind of life its citizenry experiences.

She added the rate at which inflation is rising, and salaries remaining stagnant with no action whatsoever by the authorities means workers are the least of the set priorities.