Zim's cost of living goes up

Published: 10 June 2013
THE cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe's low-income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from the February figure of US$570,75 to US$573,22 in March, reflecting a marginal 0,43 percent increase.

The CCZ said the rise in the basket was precipitated largely by changes in the price of fuel.

Last month, Government raised duty on fuel by 20 percent from US0,20c to US0,25c on diesel and 25 percent on petrol from US0,25c to US0,30c and a number of retailers immediately increased the prices of most basic commodities. But a number of economic commentators have doubted the sincerity of the retailers as the increase in fuel prices did not translate into the magnitude of the price increases.

Petrol went up from US$1,54 to US$1,61, while diesel went up from US$1,34 to US$1,39.

The food basket alone increased by US$2,42 from US$157,91 in February to US$160,33 in March representing a 1,53 percent increase.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Mr Oswell Binha last month said although the price increases had not come as a surprise, his organisation would monitor the rates at which retailers were increasing prices, considering the small margin of fuel price increases.

The soaps and detergents basket increased from US$13,84 in February to US$13,89 in March by US0,05c, reflecting a 0,36 percent increase.

CCZ noted that in March, although prices of items in the food basket increased, some items decreased slightly in price, while others maintained their prices.

It was noted that the price of a 500g tab of margarine went up by US0,16c from US$1,99 in February to US$2,15 in March. The price of a 2kg of flour went up by US4c from US$1,95 in February to US$1,99 in March. Tea leaves also went up from US$1,50 to US$1,65 in March while a kilogramme of tomatoes went up by US0,15c from US0,85c to US0,89c.

The price of washing powder increased by US0,07c to US$1,55 in March from US$1,48 in the previous month.

Decreases were recorded in the prices for sugar, which went down from US$2,15 to US$2,05 and a laundry bar went down from US$1,50 to US$1,42 in March.

The prices of other basic commodities - mealie-meal, bread, cooking oil, milk, meat and salt - did not change from the February figures.

"The CCZ continues to encourage consumers to shop conscientiously and to always take comfort in buying certified products which have vital information on manufacture and expiry dates," the council said.

The cost of the CCZ basket for transport, rent, water and electricity, health, education, clothing and footwear remained unchanged at US$399.
- TH
Tags: Basket,


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