Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Poverty Datum Line (PDL) for an average family of five increased by 4,1 percent to $17 957 in September from $17 244,07 in August, official figures show.
The latest increase is, however, slower when compared to the August PDL increase of 10,7pc. According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), PDL measures the basic needs for an average family of five.
“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for an average family of five stood at $17 956,87 in September 2020. This means that an average household required that much to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor,” said Zimstat in its latest report.
The data indicates that although the PDL during the period under review still maintained an upward trend, the trajectory continued to show a slow momentum than August. The slow rise in PDL has mainly been attributed to massive decline in inflation brought about by the stability of the exchange rate resulting in a positive knock-on effect on the prices of goods and services. Stability of the exchange rate has been triggered by the weekly Foreign Currency Auction Trading System introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on June 23 this year.
In September, month-on-month inflation rate shed 4,61 percentage points to 3,83 percent from 8,44 percent in August.
Market analysts have attributed the easing of the month-on-month inflation rate to tight monetary policy measures by the monetary authority. In recent months, the impact of rising inflation has been that it continuously limited options for consumers who were suffering diminishing spending power as prices continued increasing in response to changes on the exchange rate. In the latest report, Zimstat said in September the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for an average of five persons stood at $7 382,76.
“This represented an increase of 2,4 percent when compared to the August figure of $7 210,99,” said the agency. For the month under review, Zimstat said the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for Zimbabwe increased by 4,1 percent to $3 591,37 per person from $3 448,81 per head in August. This means that an individual required that much to buy both non-food and food items as at September 2020, in order not to be deemed poor.
Zimstat said the poverty datum lines vary by province as prices vary from place to place. The TCPL for an average household in September 2020 ranged from $17 410 in Mashonaland Central province to $19 753 in Matabeleland North province,” said the agency, adding that the differences are explained by differences in average prices in the provinces. The quantities of commodities consumed at base year in the minimum needs basket, which is consistent with the preferences of the poor individuals and households in Zimbabwe are fixed. — @okazunga.