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Food poverty basket shoots to ZWL$400k

Local News
ZimStat uses the consumer basket for an individual deemed to be poor to calculate the poverty line.

AN average Zimbabwean now requires over ZWL$400 000 a day to survive, latest Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) Food Poverty Line (FPL) figures show.

The FPL, which represents the amount of money that an individual requires to afford a daily minimum energy intake of 2 100 calories, went up 178,4% last month.

ZimStat uses the consumer basket for an individual deemed to be poor to calculate the poverty line.

In the meantime, the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL), which represents the minimum total income needed for an individual not to be deemed poor, went up 177,8%.

“The Food Poverty Line for one person in February 2024 was ZWL$432 454,90. This means that the minimum needs basket cost that much per person in February 2024. This represents an increase of 178,4% over the January 2024 figure of ZWL$155 360,39,” ZimStat prices statistics manager Thomas Chikadaya said while presenting the findings last week.

“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person  was ZWL$552 745,80 in February 2024. This means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at February 2024 in order not to be deemed poor. This represents an increase of 177,8% when compared to the January 2024 figure of ZWL$198 981,37.”

The depreciation of the local currency against foreign currencies has further worsened Zimbabweans’ economic situation.

The Zimdollar is currently trading at 1:14 000 against the US$ at the official market and 1:15 600 in supermarkets and 1:20 500 at the parallel market rate.

According to ZimStat, the month-on-month inflation rate for February 2024, was 5,4%, shedding 1,2 percentage points on the January 2024 rate of 6,6%.

"For the month of February 2024, the CPI [Consumer Price Index] for food and non-alcoholic beverages had the highest contribution to the month-on-month change in index (inflation rate) of 3,5%, followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with a contribution of 1,4%,” Chikadaya said.

Government recently introduced a raft of taxes which have seen the cost of living ballooning.

“The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of February 2024, as measured by the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 47,6%,” he said.

Prominent United States economist Steve Hanke recently revealed that the local currency has depreciated 95% against the US dollar since January 1, 2023.

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