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Relief for consumers

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Low-income families can heave a sigh of relief following release of data showing the cost of the food basket decreased to $147,53 in May from $155,46 the previous month.

Latest statistics from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) indicated that low-income urban earner’s monthly basket for a family of six marginally decreased from the April 2012 figure of $567,95 to $560,14 at the end of May.

The food and detergents basket decreased from $168,95 in April 2012 to $161,14 in May.

According to the FinScope Consumer Survey Zimbabwe 2011, a nationally representative study of demand for, usage of, and access to financial services, 36% of the country’s population had to skip a meal because of lack of money or food while 61% had gone without cash at some stage and had to make a plan for daily needs.

The survey further revealed that four in every five economically active Zimbabweans earn less than $200 per month.

The consumer watchdog said the price of laundry soap increased from around $1,48 to $1,53.

Other increases were recorded for salt, which went up by 1c from 22c to 23c.

The price of fuel also increased from $1,45 to $1,48 per litre for petrol and from $1,34 to $1,38 per litre for diesel.

“It was encouraging to observe reductions in the price of meat (beef) from $4,60 to $4,20, rice from $1,85 to $1,80, as well as tea leaves from $2,25 to $1,89, cooking oil from $1,49 to $1,39, tomatoes from $1,10 to 65c, onions from $1,15 to $1 per kg, cabbage from 80c to 50c per head and bath soap from 85c to 83c,” CCZ said.

The prices of mealie-meal, margarine, fresh milk, bread, flour and washing powder remained unchanged from end of April 2012.

“The CCZ is pleased with the fact that no increases were recorded at all for some of the commodities while prices for others actually fell.
As the CCZ, we believe this is as it should be in a normal economy,” CCZ said.

The cost of the CCZ basket for transport, rent, water and electricity, health, education, clothing and footwear has remained the same at $399.

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