BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Zimbabwe’s year-on-year inflation rate for the month of August eased to 761,02% from 837,53% reported in July, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has said.
“The year-on-year inflation rate (annual percentage change) for the month of August 2020 as measured by the all items consumer price index (CPI) stood at 761,02%.This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average of 761,02% between August 2019 and August 2020,” ZimStat said.
The month-on-month inflation rate in August 2020 was 8,44%, shedding 27,09 percentage points on the July 2020 rate of 35,53 %.
Month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at 6,30% in August 2020, shedding 31,69 percentage points on the July 2020 rate of 37,99 %.
The month-on-month non-food inflation rate stood at 10,03%, shedding 23,73 percentage points on the July 2020 rate of 33,76 %.
Zimbabwe has the second highest inflation after South America’s Venezuela and is experiencing one of its worst economic crises since 2008 aggravated by runaway inflation, currency depreciation, with about seven million food insecure citizens, according the United Nations.
The country’s year-on-year inflation for the month of June was 737,29% from the May figure of 785,55% .
Data on prices was collected during the period August 11 to 17, 2020.
The easing of inflation comes after one of the sources of growing inflation, the forex exchange parallel market, has been under siege as the central bank intensified clampdown on mobile money agents and ZimSwitch Instant Payment Interchange Technology (Zipit) transactions to curb parallel market activities and save the Zimbabwe dollar from further plunging.
Government also suspended trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange before resuming a month later.
Last July, authorities deferred the announcement of year-on-year inflation rate until February 2020, but analysts have been using the CPI to calculate year-on-year inflation rate. Already, companies have adopted a hyperinflation reporting standard –IAS 29.
Inflation was 540,16% in February 2020 when authorities resumed publishing official figures. It surged to 676,39% in March before jumping to 766% the following month.
The country’s annualised inflation rate closed 2019 at 521%, defying authorities’ two-digit projection.
Presenting the mid-year budget review, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said inflation was expected to fall in the second half of this year to 300% in December.