The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says the decision by the government to levy duty on imported basic commodities is likely to result in price increases in the coming months.
In a trading update CCZ said cost of living for a low-income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from $502,04 last month to $504,16 in July.
“CCZ expects that in the coming month there will be an increase in the prices of basic commodities, considering that duty-free was removed on basic imported goods,” the consumer watchdog said.
Presenting the mid-year fiscal policy review statement last week, Finance minister Tendai Biti restored import duty on some foodstuffs to protect local industry saying the development had been necessitated by improved supply of basic goods and also the need to protect local producers.
CCZ said the food basket increased from $145,23 in June 2011 to $146,27 in July 2011 reflecting a 0,01% increase.
The food and detergents basket increased from $158,04 to $160,16 in July.
“CCZ noted that in the month of July 2011 certain products in the food and detergents basket have increased from the previous month,” the consumer watchdog said.
It noted that the price of mealie meal went up by 22 cents, that of white sugar by 5c, salt by 3c, onions by 20c and beef by 10c. The price of bath soap and washing powder is said to have gone up by 4c and that of washing bars by 20c.
The cost of the CCZ basket for transport, rent, water and electricity, health, education, clothing and footwear has remained the same at $344,00.