BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZIMBABWE’S inflation yesterday raced to 96,4%, up from 72% the previous month, raising fears of a possible return to hyperinflation.
Inflation has been on an upward trend since late last year with authorities citing a volatile exchange rate and price distortions for the increase.
“The year-on-year inflation rate (annual percentage change) for the month of April 2022 as measured by the all items consumer price index (CPI) stood at 96,4%. This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average of 96,4% between April 2021 and April 2022,” the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStats) said yesterday.
“The month-on-month inflation rate in April 2022 was 15,5% gaining 9,2 percentage points on the March 2022 rate of 6,3%. This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average rate of 15,5% from March 2022 to April 2022,” ZimStats added.
“The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at 18,5% in April 2022, gaining 12,5% points on the March 2022 rate of 6,0%. The month-on-month non-food inflation rate stood at 13,3%, gaining 6,8% points on the March 2022 rate of 6,5%.”
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has admitted that the economy is facing inflation pressures, and recently announced a raft of measures, including increasing interest rates to stabilise the exchange rate and bring down inflation.
The RBZ says its target is to reduce inflation to 35% by year-end, which is increasingly unlikely.
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The rise in inflation has sparked increases in the prices of goods and services.
Last Saturday, however, President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed economic sabotage by business and political opponents to cause his ouster, adding that most of the inflation was “imported”.
Zimbabwe is listed alongside countries such as Venezuela, Sudan and Lebanon as one the 10 countries in the world with the highest inflation rate.
However, Zimbabweans are no strangers to high inflation after it reached 500 billion percent in December 2008, according to the World Bank.
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