Inflation hits post-dollarisation high

THE year-on-year inflation rate stood at 5,39 % in September, the highest since dollarisation, latest data from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZimStat) shows.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

This is the highest figure since the country abandoned its own currency and adopted a multicurrency basket anchored on the United States dollar in 2009. The highest inflation figure was the 5,3% recorded in May, 2010. Month-on-month inflation rate rose to 0,92% after gaining 0,53 percentage points on the August rate of 0,39 %. After three years of deflation since February 2014, Zimbabwe experienced a resurgence in inflation.

Zimbabwe Chamber of National Commerce chief executive Christopher Mugaga questioned the ZimStat figures.

“ZimStat is quoting US dollar inflation and assuming absence of RTGS [real time gross settlement] and bond inflation, which makes their inflation figure only 10% closer to the average price levels,” he said.

Economist John Robertson weighed in, saying the inflation rate does not capture the obtaining situation on the ground.

“We expect it to be higher than given the rate at which prices has been going up. We also expect it to be even higher next month,” Robertson said.

This comes after Steve Hanke, an American applied economist at the Johns Hopkins University, wrote on his Twitter handle that Zimbabwe’s cumulative inflation as of Saturday was at 224,7%.

“Zimbabwe’s implied cumulative inflation rate measured for today 13/10/18, is 224,7%,” Hanke posted.

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