THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says the family basket decreased to $579, 15 in April from $582,92 in March due to a number of promotions by retailers, which saw a decrease in the prices of basic commodities.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
The CCZ consumer basket measures the cost of living for a family of six in a month.
The food basket decreased by $4,37 or 3,16 % to $133,80 end of April 2017 from $138,17 in March.
“As CCZ we assume that the decrease in prices has been caused by promotions on various commodities in some supermarkets such as the OK Grand Challenge promotion, and the consumers have less money to spend,” it said.
During the period under review, decreases were recorded in meat by $0,05 to $4,40, tomatoes by $0,05 to $0,80, tea leaves by $0,08 to $ $1,65 and milk which went down to $0,55 from $0,59.
The price of cooking oil decreased by $0,06 to $1,39, bread by $0,10 to $0,70 and rice went down to $1,85 from $1,99 per 2kg pack.
Increases were recorded in margarine, sugar, flour, onions and washing powder $0,01 to $1,05 from $1,04, sugar by $0,10 to $1,88 from $1,78, flour by $0,25 to $1,80 from $1,55, onions by $0,50 to $1,15from $0,65, washing powder by $0,20 to $1,45 from $1,25.
The price of salt and cabbages remained unchanged from the end March figure.
Consumers have been facing challenges in purchasing goods due to low disposable income, although some retailers have managed to reduce prices of some goods and services to increase sales.
“The CCZ continues to encourage consumers to shop conscientiously and to always buy certified products. Where the products are not certified, to exercise their right to information by carefully examining if the products they are purchasing are well labelled, packaged and provided with vital information such as manufacturing and expiry dates and ingredients used in the make-up of the products,” CCZ said.
Experts say consumers are hard pressed for cash due to liquidity constraints besetting the economy. The majority of the consumers are earning salaries that are below the poverty datum line of $500 per month.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu said the decrease in prices should not be a cause for celebration as “prices of locally manufactured goods are still high and beyond the reach of the majority”.