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Zim Cost of Living skyrockets as family of five requires $ 3 600 per month

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By Alois Vinga

TOTAL Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) rose by 15.7 % in the month of November 2019, leaving an average family of five requiring $ 3 656.48 for their monthly needs, a recent Zimbabwe National Statistics poverty analysis report has said.

The report says during the period under review, the cost of living in Zimbabwe continued to rise.

“The TCPL for an average of five persons stood at $3, 656.48 in November 2019. This means that an average household required that much to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor.

“This represents an increase of 15.7 percent when compared to the October 2019 figure of $3, 159.52,” the report said.

The TCPL for Zimbabwe stood at $731.30 per person in November 2019 meaning that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at November 2019 in order not to be deemed poor.

This represents an increase of 15.7 percent when compared to the October 2019 figure of $631.90.

The Food Poverty Line (FPL) which represents the minimum consumption expenditure necessary to ensure that each household member can (if all expenditures were devoted to food) consume a minimum food basket representing 2 100 calories, stood at $327.42.

“This means that the minimum needs basket cost that much per person in November 2019. This represents an increase of 20.6 percent over the October 2019 figure of $271. The November 2019 FPL for an average of five persons in Zimbabwe stood at $1, 637.09. This represented an increase of 20.6 percent when compared to the October 2019 figure of $1, 357,” said the report.

The poverty datum lines differ by province as prices vary from place to place.

The TCPL for an average household in November 2019 ranged from $3, 261.00 in Mashonaland Central Province to $4, 048 in Matabeleland North.

The latest figures come at a time when inflation has been skyrocketing since the beginning of the year and in June, ZIMSTAT pegged it at 176%.

In August last year, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube suspended the publication of year-on-year inflation figures.

Top economist Professor Tony Hawkins predicted that inflation will remain within the three-digit mark into the second quarter of 2020.

Most market watchers speculate that year on year inflation has since surpassed 600 %.

The development will throw the working class into deep poverty as their salaries have not been reviewed accordingly.