Brighton Gumbo, Business Reporter
THE cost of living went up marginally by 0.63 percent last month due to an increase in the prices of some basic commodities.
According to a survey conducted by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) based on an urban low-income earner for a family of six, the cost of living increased from $551.2 in November to $554.7 in December.
“The cost of living as measured by CCZ’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from $551.19 as of end November to $554.68 by end of December 2015, showing an increase of $3.49 or 0.63 percent,” said the consumer watchdog.
“The food basket increased by $3.63 or 3.31 percent from $109.62 as of end November 2015 to $113.25 by end of December 2015. The price of detergents decreased by $0.14 or 1.85 percent from $7.57 to $7.42.”
CCZ said a $0.11 increase was noted in the price of brown sugar from $1.64 in November to $1.75 last month.
“The price of sugar rose due to limited supply on the market and some supermarkets are rationing the commodity by allowing only two packets per customer.”
The consumer watchdog said other increases were also noticed in the prices of rice which increased by $0.04 from $1.50 to $1.54, meat (economy) by $1.01 from $2.89 to $3.90 and bath soap by $0.07 from $0.30 to $0.37.
“As CCZ, we assume that the above price increases were caused by the general view that during the festive season prices tend to rise since retailers have the perception of consumers having more income at their disposal.”
Meanwhile, the prices of roller meal, onions, tea leaves and laundry bar remained unchanged from the November rates.
“Decreases in prices were recorded on margarine which dropped by $0.37 from $0.99 to $0.62, cooking oil by $0.05 from $1.30 to $1.25, flour by $0.61 from $1.60 to $0.99 ,” said CCZ.