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Consumer basket rises marginally


THE consumer basket for a family of six last month rose to $562,02 from $561,99 reported in October due to the increases in the food basket, the country’s consumer watchdog has said.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), the food basket increased by $1,07 to $150,76 in November from $149,69 in October, while detergents decreased by $1,04 to $12,26 from $13,30 due to festive promotions.

During the month of November, the price of 20kg roller meal increased by 62 cents to $12,25 from $12,23.

The price of tomatoes per kilogramme increased by 12 cents from 61 cents, while the price of beef gained 60 cents to close the month at $4,50.

The CCZ report shows that the price of 500 grammes of margarine declined to $2,19 after it lost 17cents, the price of 2kg sugar also went down to $1,76 in November from $1,90 in October.

Tea leaves went down by 14 cents to $1,75 for 150g, while bath soap went down by 20 cents to 65 cents.

Laundry bar went down by 6 cents to $1,29.

The prices of rice, fuel, bread, salt, flour, fresh milk, onion, cabbage and washing powder remained unchanged during the period under review.

CCZ executive director Rosemary Siyachitema recently warned customers to brace for price increases driven by rent seeking behaviour by retailers.

Siyachitema said the country had been recording single-digit inflation during the nine months to September, but the effect of this had not been felt by customers as retailers maintained their prices.

The consumer basket includes food, clothes, rent, utilities and transport requirements for a family of six per month.

She added that during the first nine months period the basket did not move significantly as fuel remained steady which is the major cost pusher in this market.

Some retailers have indicated that their stock is not moving as fast as it used to in the past festive period as people do not have money in their pockets.

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