Family Basket Cost Rises to ZWL$2.6m in Zimbabwe

by Adenike Adeodun

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) reports a surge in the cost of the family basket to ZWL$2.6 million, signaling distress for countless families across the nation.

According to CCZ, the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar caused the prices of several commodities to rise over 20% in September. Notably, mealie-meal, utility bills, and education costs spearheaded this upswing.

Philemon Chereni, the CCZ spokesperson, detailed the escalation. “The CCZ’s assessment for a low-income urban family of six saw a 6.24% increase, moving from ZWL$2,539,494.10 to $2,697,554.08,” he said. He cited fuel price hikes and local currency depreciation as principal contributors. “Fuel prices increased by 0.06%, while the supermarket rate dropped by 2.7%, affecting all products in the family basket.”

Chereni also highlighted a significant 52.6% spike in education costs during September. “Adjustments in the School Development Committee levy, coupled with rises in water rates, roller meal, and fresh milk prices, were pivotal. Conversely, electricity, transport, and brown sugar prices experienced reductions,” he noted.

Newsday Zimbabwe reported that Economist Eddie Cross pointed to the government’s failure to implement robust economic strategies to curtail inflation and stabilize commodity prices. “The devaluation of our local currency majorly pushes the commodity price hikes. I observe no substantial governmental efforts to rectify this,” Cross commented. “Most workers receive their salaries in the local currency, triggering inflation. Proper currency management could resolve these issues rapidly. However, our current state is monetary turmoil.”

Recently, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency declared a 10.4% increase in the cost of living. The food poverty line per individual is now ZWL$77,186, up from ZWL$69,941.05 in June.

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