Just in: Inflation shoots to 540%



The government has for the first time in a year released inflation figures, with the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) reporting that the price of goods and services went up by an average of 540.16% over the past 12 months.

“The month on month inflation rate in February was 13.52% gaining 11.29 percentage points on the January rate of 2.23%. The year on year inflation rate (annual percentage change) for the month of February as measured by the all items CPI stood at 540.16%,” said Zimstat on its Twitter account yesterday.

“The consumer Price Index for the month ending February 2020 stood at 640.16 compared to 563.90 in January 2020 and 100 in February 2019.”

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube last year stopped the publication of annualised inflation figures, saying since the country had introduced a new currency, there was need to wait for a year so inflation figures could be calculated on a like by like basis.

Although the government was not announcing year on year inflation figures, analysts calculated that the January 2020 figure was around 470%.

Renowned American economist, Steve Hanke, places the yearly inflation rate at more than 1 096%.

According to the non-governmental organisation ACT Alliance, headquartered in Switzerland, the introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar has not relieved the situation either as the banning of the multi-currency regime has even worsened the situation.

“The prices of fuel continue to go up at a time when salaries are stagnant. Though the markets are functional, citizens are unable to procure goods and services to meet their food requirements,” ACT Alliance, in a recent report said.