Cost of living increases

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE cost of living increased by 10,3 percent last month to $666,93 due to the prevailing macro-economic situation that is characterised by among others persistent cash shortages, price increases and high demand for basic goods.

According to a survey conducted by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) based on a low-income earner for a family of six, the cost of living increased from $604,54 in September.

“The cost of living as measured by the CCZ low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from the end of September 2018 figure of $604,54 to $666,93 by end of October 2018, showing an increase of $62,39,” it said.

The food basket increased by $55,48 from $156,20 by end of September 2018 to $211,68 by end of October 2018. The price of detergents increased by $6,91 or 48,2 percent from $14,34 to $21,25.

“As CCZ we assume that the increase in the total figure of the basket can be attributed to fuel prices, which have gone up, cash shortages, high demand of goods, low supplies of goods from most manufacturers, price speculation and tax increase on electronic transactions (two cents per every dollar),” said the consumer watchdog.

Price decreases were recorded in onions by $0,40 from $1,82 to $1,42 per pocket. CCZ said almost all products in the basket (food, soup and detergents) recorded price increases. Increases were recorded in rice by $1,53 per two kilogramme from $2,73 to $4,26, roller meal by $0,56 from $9,33 to $9,89 per 10 kg, two kg flour by $0,45 from $2,09 to $2,54, and meat per kg by $3,89 from $5,73 to $9,62.

The price of a head of cabbage increased by $0,02 from $0,81 to $0,83, while tomatoes by $0,16 from $1,16 to $1,32, cooking oil (750ml) by $0,68 from $1,62 to $2,30, and laundry bar by $1,06 from $1,49 to $2,55. CCZ urged consumers to always seek a fair deal in the marketplace by ensuring their rights are observed, as well as reporting any anomalies in the marketplace.

The consumer watchdog said it continues to encourage consumers to shop conscientiously and to always buy certified products.

“Where the products are not certified, consumers should 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,” said CCZ. — @okazunga

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