Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S month-on-month inflation rate increased by 0,6 percentage points this month to settle at 2,4 percent from 1,8 percent in November, figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) show.
Inflation, usually measured monthly or yearly, represents the rate at which prices either go up or decrease over the measured period.
A decline in the rate, however, does not necessarily signify falling prices but the reduced pace at which prices are rising.
The Treasury has projected the inflation to close the year well below three percent.
In a report released yesterday, ZimStat said the year-on-year inflation rate (annual percentage change) for the month of December 2022, as measured by the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), stood at 243,8 percent compared to 255,0 percent in November 2022.
“The month-on-month inflation rate in December 2022 was 2,4 percent gaining 0,6 percentage points on the November 2022 rate of 1,8 percent,” said ZimStat.
“The month-on-month inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with the index of the previous month in the current year.”
Monthly inflation rose gradually but steadily in the last half of last year and the first quarter of this year after receding following the surge seen just before the auction system and other measures, which smashed black market pricing in the middle of 2020.
It suddenly shot up to peak at 30,7 percent in June this year, before the Government and Reserve Bank launched measures to curtail speculation that was driving up the black-market exchange rate, which in turn was driving inflation.
The measures were anchored around pushing up interest rates to 200 percent so that speculators could not make money by borrowing to play the black market.
At the same time, a number of measures were adopted to take ordinary businesses out of the black market, from selling gold coins to those that wanted a legal store of value, and introducing the interbank market run by the banking system to set the official exchange rate.
ZimStat said CPI for the month ending December 2022 stood at 13 672,91, compared to 13 349,42 in November 2022 and 3 977,46 in December 2021.
“The communications group had the highest month-on-month inflation rate of 4,6 percent followed by the food products group with 3,3 percent,” said ZimStat. — @SikhulekelaniM1