Inflation upward trend continues

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Year-on-year inflation continued on an upward trend in August driven by increased costs in transport, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, statistics have shown.

Figures released by Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (Zimstats) yesterday showed the country’s headline consumer inflation rose to 3,5%.

“The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of August as measured by the Consumer Price Index stood at 3,5% gaining 0,2 percentage points on the July rate of 3,3%,” Zimstats said.

Year-on-year inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the same month in the previous year.

Month-on-month inflation in August was 0.1% shedding 0,2% on the July rate of 0,3% in July.

Early this month Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said consumers should brace for tougher times ahead as it projected an increase in the prices of basic commodities following the hiking of electricity tariffs.

Zesa increased tariffs by 31% at the beginning of the month.

The electricity tariff increases are expected to be felt when the consumer watchdog reviews the consumer basket at the end of the month.

CCZ executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said since the beginning of the year the consumer basket had been increasing marginally.

“CCZ anticipates an increase in the September family basket due to an increase in the prices of basic commodities, considering that duty has been effected on imported basic goods as well as the recent electricity tariff hike by Zesa,” said Siyachitema

The food basket for the month of August increased to $146,71 from $146,27 while the food and detergent basket rose to $161,06 from $160,16 in July reflecting a 0,01% increase.

Responding to increase of prices following the introduction of import duty on selected goods last month, Finance minister Tendai Biti warned the business sector against increasing prices of goods and commodities willy-nilly promising to crack the whip if the trend continued.

“However, businesspeople have already increased the prices and what they want us to do is to go back and say we are lifting the policy measures and we know that our business people have long been accused of bad habits, and those are coming back again,” he said.

The Finance ministry has project year- on-year inflation to end at 4,5%.