The cost of living for a family of six has shot up to a whooping ZW$110 550 for monthly expenses, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) latest data for June 2022 has revealed as annual inflation rate quickened to 191.6 percent in June, more than doubling the consumer price increases of two months ago, official statistics showed Saturday.
During the period under review, the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person rose to ZW$18 425.
“This means that a family of six now requires ZW$110 550 to meet both non-food and food items as at June 2022 in order not to be deemed poor. This represents an increase of 31.2 percent when compared to the May 2022 figure of ZW$14,041.38,” said ZIMSTAT.
The data shows that food needs are among the most expensive with one person requiring ZW$13 875 per month just to meet consumption needs.
The statistics agency reported that the month on month inflation rate during the review period gained 9,7% to close the month at 30,7%.
The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of June 2022 as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 191,6%.
This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average of 191.6 percent between June 2021 and June 2022.
The developments fly in the face of already struggling citizens whose salaries have not kept pace with the inflationary developments obtaining in the economy with the majority of citizens currently earning salaries which are way below ZW$50 000 mark.
Recently boarding schools and other tertiary learning institutions moved to demand fees top up from parents citing that the initially paid fees could no longer meet the daily operational demands.
The tide of surging inflation is however currently not synonymous to Zimbabwe alone as it comes on the back of rising global inflation triggered by the impact of Russia/Ukraine war’s impact on supply chain disruptions.
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate quickened to 191.6 percent in June, more than doubling the consumer price increases of two months ago, official statistics showed Saturday.
The development came as the government failed to present new measures to tackle the rising cost of living which President Emmerson Mnangagwa had said would announced Saturday.
Inflation which was at 96.4 percent in April, crept up to nearly 200 percent as prices of cooking oil and bread are leaping higher as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The price of basic goods including bread has soared, prompting the central bank last week to offer bakers access to foreign currency in order to curb increases. The energy regulator on Friday announced a second increase in a month in gas prices.
The Zimbabwean dollar has weakened 70% this year against the US dollar, making it Africa’s worst performing currency. The local unit officially trades at Z$355 per US dollar, but changes hands for between Z$500 and Z$670 on the parallel market, according to ZimPriceCheck.com, a website that tracks both the official and unofficial rates.
Thousands of nurses and doctors at state-run hospitals were on strike since Monday demanding a hefty raise and wages in US dollars due to the slide in the local currency and the erosion of the value of their earnings due to inflation.
They went on strike on Monday after rejecting a government offer to double their local currency wages, saying the 100% hike would not even compensate for annual inflation that jumped to 131.7% in May.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was forced to promise new measures to bring to tackle the cost of living challenges after his Zanu-PF party’s own Women’s League also expressed concern saying “it is surprising that prices continue to rise”.
“The increase in prices is quite shocking,” the league added during its national conference in Harare.
Responding, Mnangagwa said the government would on Saturday announce measures to bring relief to the public.
“My government will tomorrow be announcing concrete measures to tame inflation and unwarranted increases in prices towards securing the incomes and savings of our people, particularly women,” the Zanu-PF leader said in his address.
Rising prices revive memories of hyperinflation seen more than a decade ago when inflation spiralled so far out of control that the central bank in 2008 issued a 100-trillion-dollar note, which has now become a collectors’ item.
The government then ditched the local currency and adopted the US dollar and the South African rand as legal tender.
But in 2019 the government reintroduced the Zimbabwean dollar, which has rapidly been declining in value.