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Cost of living up again

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The cost of living as depicted by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe’s (CCZ) low-income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from $540,80 last in October to $546,34 in November.

In a monthly update, yesterday the consumer watchdog said between September and November the family basket had shot up by $19, a huge increment on the already burdened consumers.

The food basket increased from $158,18 in October 2011 to $163,69 last month reflecting a 0,03% jump.

The food and detergents basket increased from $171,80 in October 2011 to $177,34 in November.

The update noted certain products in the food basket had increased from the previous month, while others remained constant.

During the period under review, the price of margarine increased by 14c, white sugar by 15c, tea leaves by 34c, salt by 2c, meat by 85c, washing bars by 16c and washing powder by 5c.

“CCZ feels that the big increase in the November 2011 family basket is due to the recent increase in rates of electricity by Zesa and the impact of duty reinstatement on some basic food,” reads part of the statement.

“CCZ will continue to monitor the situation closely and to advocate for fairer and affordable rates and prices.”

It said there should be a downward movement of prices of basic commodities given the weakened South African rand against the US dollar.

“Retailers are quick to increase prices when the rand strengthens against the dollar and yet they ignore adjustments when it is the other way round,” said CCZ.

The cost of the basket for transport, rent, water, electricity, health, education, clothing and footwear remained at $369.

CCZ said locally-manufactured products are increasing on shelves, when still not being produced and supplied at adequate levels to instil confidence to members of the public.

It urged consumers to always seek a fair deal on the marketplace by ensuring their rights were observed.

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