Month-on-month inflation slows in August

BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA

ZIMBABWE’s month-on-month inflation rate slowed by 2,9 percentage points in August to 18,7% from 21,04% in July, the statistics agency has revealed.

Treasury banned the publication of the annual inflation rate in its mid-term fiscal policy review last month after it had reached a decade-high of 175,66% in June.

However, research firm Equity Axis noted that on an annualised basis, inflation was now 288,62% in August from 230,42% in July.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats), the inflation slow down means that prices, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased by an average rate of 18,07% from July 2019 to August 2019.

“The month-on-month inflation rate in August 2019 was 18,07% shedding 2,97 percentage points on the July 2019 rate of 21,04%.” Zimstats said.

Month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate went down by 1,35 percentage points to 18,55% percent from the July rate of 19,90%, while the month-on-month non-food inflation rate stood at 17,79%, shedding 3,93 percentage points on the July 2019 rate of 21,72%.

Despite the annual inflation data blackout, in his latest annual inflation figures posted on Twitter on September 12, 2019, renowned economist Steve Hanke said
Zimbabwe’s annual rate stood at 721%, an increase from 558% posted in August for the July year-on-year inflation.

The annual inflation rate has been going up since January this year and in the first month it stood at 56,90%, up from a December 2018 figure of 42,09%, rising to 59,4% in February.

The annual inflation rate continued to increase in March to 66,80% and in April it rose to 75,86% before spiking to 97,85% in May.

This increase in annual inflation showed that Zimbabwe was already in a hyperinflationary environment.

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