Rising costs propel family basket to $2,6 Million



The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says the family basket has shot to ZWL$2,6 million due to rising prices of basic commodities, spelling disaster for thousands of families countrywide.

CCZ said the local currency was depreciating against the greenback, which resulted in some commodity prices going up by over 20% during September with mealie-meal, utility bills and education costs being the major drivers of the increase in the family basket costs.

“The cost of living measured in the local currency as measured by the CCZ’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased by 6,24% from ZWL$2 539 494,10 to $2 697 554,08,” CCZ spokesperson Philemon Chereni said.

“The increase is mainly attributed to the increase in fuel price along with the depreciation of the local currency. Approximately fuel rose by 0,06%, while the supermarket rate depreciated by 2,7% and this affected the prices of all the products in the family basket.”

Chereni said during the month of September, education costs rose by 52,6%.

“The SDC [school development committee] levy adjustment in education also marginally increased the basket unlike the previous month where only tuition was considered. Education water and rates, roller meal and fresh milk were the main drivers to the basket in the month of September 2023, which rose by 52,6%, 22,5%, 19% and 14,8% respectively.

“Electricity, transport and brown sugar contributed negatively to the basket by 3,4%, 6% 6,4% and 15%, respectively. It should be noted that the price of most basic products in the family basket rose during the month of September 2023, in local currency,” Chereni said.

Economist Eddie Cross blamed government for failing to put in place sound economic measures to tame inflation and stabilise the prices of commodities.

“The devaluation of the local currency is the main driver of the hike in the price of commodities and I don’t see any efforts by the government to address that,” he said.

“The vast majority of workers earn local currency and that is the major driver for inflation. We need proper management of the currency such that if we had sound economic fundamentals, the problems could be addressed even in 24 hours. As it is, we have monetary chaos.”

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency last month said the cost of living has increased by 10,4%, with the food poverty line for one person now at ZWL$77 186 from an increase from ZWL$69 941,05 in June. –-NewsDay

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