Festive Glee Causes A Sharp Increase In Food Inflation


Zimbabwe’s holiday festivities contributed to a sharp increase in food inflation in December, with prices of basic commodities soaring just before the festive season. 

Woman checking groceries in supermarket Zimbabwe
[Image: Zimbabwe Mail] 

This is according to the latest Consumer Price Index report issued by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency. They collected data on prices from 12th to 18th December, as the nation approached the Christmas holidays. 

ZimStat’s latest report reveals that the month-on-month inflation rate for December rose to 4.7%, a 0.2 percentage point increase from November’s rate of 4.5%. The year-on-year inflation rate also climbed to 26.5% in December, up from 21.6% the previous month. 

The Consumer Price Index stood at 113.22, a 5.09% increase from November’s 108.13. The year on year increase from December 2022’s index of 89.49 is 23.73%. 

ZimStat highlighted that non-alcoholic beverages had the highest contribution to the month-on-month change index, with a 2.7% increase, followed by housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, which contributed 1.6% to the inflation rate. 

The report states that the Food Poverty Line ZWL$106,696.52 (about US$18 per official exchange rate) per person in December, a substantial 21.6% increase compared to November’s figure of ZWL$87,756.38. 

The Food Poverty Line represents the amount of money that an individual requires to afford a daily minimum energy intake of 2,100 calories. 

The Total Consumption Poverty Line, which includes essential items beyond food, also witnessed a significant jump, reaching ZWL$140,252.59 (US$23) in December, compared to ZWL$115,090 in November. 

The Total Consumption Poverty Line represents the minimum total income needed for an individual not to be deemed extremely poor. 

“It was derived by computing the average of nonfood consumption expenditures of poor households whose consumption expenditures were just equal to the Food Poverty Line.

"The amount was added to the FPL. If an individual does not consume more than the TCPL, he or she is deemed extremely poor," said the agency. 

It has been a challenging 2023 for Zimbabwe, marred by corruption scandals, contested elections, and a controversial budget presentation by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube. 

The cost of living has become increasingly challenging for Zimbabweans, owing to a myriad of macroeconomic challenges, chief among them a depreciating local currency. 

As Zimbabwe enters into 2024, there are concerns that the economic challenges could exacerbate, worsening the plight of the population.

Post a Comment