Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
THE cost of living decreased by 0.37 percent in March 2017 to $582.92 for a family of six per month due to promotions on various commodities by players in the retail sector, a survey has shown.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) carried out the survey using an urban low-income earner for a family of six, which revealed the food basket decreased by $2.07 or 1.48 percent from $140.24 by end-February to $138.17 by end-March 2017.
Major decreases were recorded in sugar by $0.07 from $1.85 to $1.78, flour by 0.41 from $1.96 to 1.55, salt by $0.05 from 0.30 to $0.25, meat by $0.19 from $4.64 to 4.45, tomatoes by $0.31 from 1.16 to $0.85, onions by $0.15 from $0.80 to $0.65, cabbage by $0.11 from 0.86 to $0.75 bathing soap by $0.01 from $0.61 to $0.60, washing powder by $0.04 from $1.29 to $1.25.
The price of detergents dropping by $0.08 or 0.74 percent from $10.83 to $10.75, said CCZ.
“As CCZ we assume that the decrease in prices has been caused by promotions on various commodities in some supermarkets, ” said the consumer watchdog.
It added that increases were recorded in roller meal by $0.34 from $11.65 to $11.99, tea leaves by $0.4 from $1.69 to $1.73, fresh milk by $0.02 from $0.57 to $0.59, rice by $0.12 from $1.87 to $1, 99, laundry bar by 0.02 from $1.13 to $1.15.
CCZ said the price of bread, margarine and cooking oil remained unchanged from the end ofJanuary figure.
The consumer watchdog urged consumers to shop conscientiously and to always buy certified products.
“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 buying 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,” said CCZ.