Zimbabwe inflation data hugely understated – economists

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By Business Report

HARARE: A steep rise in Zimbabwe’s inflation has worsened the country’s economic plight, with Zimstats data showing yesterday that inflation now stands at 42 percent, but economists say the figures are hugely understated.

The country is battling to tame price increases exacerbated by a foreign currency crunch that has been pushing up prices of goods and commodities.

Zimstats said Zimbabwe’s year-on-year inflation rate for the month of December 2018 as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 42.09 percent. 

This means that Zimbabwe’s CPI had gained 11.08 percentage points from the November 2018 inflation rate of 31.01 percent.

This was after the year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation which is “prone to transitory shocks amounted to 53.68 percent, while the non-food inflation rate was at 36.48 percent” at a period when Zimbabwe is battling to woe investors back to the country.

But economists and other experts say that the Zimbabwean inflation figures are understated. 

Professor Steve Hanke said this week that Zimbabwe’s inflation was soaring at 235.8 percent, despite the government figures.