Food prices drop

Food prices drop
Published: 19 July 2017
ZIMBABWE's cost of living for a family of six continued on a downward trend last month, dropping to $575.71 from $577.77 in May on the back of a decrease in the food basket, figures from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) show.

The significant decline in prices of basic goods such as mealie-meal and cooking oil has eased the burden on consumers despite an increase in other product lines.

A 10kg bag of mealie-meal now costs about $4 from around $6 early this year while 2L cooking oil costs less than $3 in some outlets from around $3.50 recently.

During the period under review, CCZ said the food basket decreased by $2.51 or 1.90 percent from $132.06 by end of May to $129.55 by end of last month.

"Decreases were recorded in cooking oil by $0.18 from $1.45 to $1.27, mealie meal by $1.68 from $11.83 to $10.15, sugar by $0.02 from $1.85 to $1.83, tomatoes by $0.13 from $0.74 to $0.61, cabbages by $0.18 from $0.92 to $0.74 and bath soap by $0.04 from $0.69 to $0.65," said CCZ.

The drop in mealie-meal prices comes at a time when the country has received a bumper harvest following a successful 2016/17 farming season.

Though the decline has been marginal since May, CCZ has attributed the downward trend in the cost of living to sales promotions that retail outlets continued to run.

"The cost of living as measured by the CCZ's low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six decreased from the end-May figure of $577.77 to $575.71 by end-June 2017, showing a decrease of $2.06 or 0.36 percent.

"As CCZ we assume that the decrease in prices has been caused by promotions on various commodities in some supermarkets such as TM and Pick n Pay, and the consumers have less money to spend," said the consumer watchdog.

The consumer watchdog said during the period under review, increases were recorded in tea leaves by $0.18 from $1.60 to $1.78, flour by $0.01 from $1.75 to $1.76, meat by $0.27 from $4.25 to $4.52, onions by $0.04 from $1.25 to $1.29, laundry bar by $0.04 from $1.15 to $1.19, washing powder by $0.15 from $0.1.45 to $1.60.

The price of milk, margarine, bread, rice and salt remained unchanged from the end of May figures, noted CCZ.

"The CCZ continues to encourage consumers to shop conscientiously and to always buy certified products. Where the products are not certified, to exercise their right to information by carefully examining if the products they are purchasing are well labelled, packaged and provided with vital information such as manufacturing and expiry dates and ingredients used in the make-up of the products," it said.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency has reported that the country's annual inflation slipped by 0.43 percentage points to 0.31 percent in June signalling a slowdown in consumer spending. In May, inflation was at 0.75 percent.
- zimpapers
Tags: Basket,


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