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Zim food basket jumps 62,2%

ZIMBABWE’S food poverty line (FPL) has gone up by 62,2% from ZWL$432 454,90 recorded last month to ZWL$701 236, 89 as the local currency continues on a free fall pushing up the cost of living.

FPL represents the amount of money that an individual requires to afford a daily minimum energy intake of 2 100 calories.

The Zimdollar is currently trading at 1:21 000 in supermarkets and 1:32 000 at the parallel market rate.

According to the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStat), the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL), which represents the minimum total income needed for an individual not to be deemed poor, went up by 65,8%.

ZimStat price statistics manager Thomas Chikadaya presented the findings yesterday.

“TCPL for one person was ZWL$916 225,50 in March 2024,” Chikadaya said.

“This means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at March 2024 in order not to be deemed poor.

“This represents an increase of 65,8% when compared to the February 2024 figure of ZWL$552 745 80.”

The local dollar has been on its worst free fall since January this year, escalating the price of a loaf of bread from ZWL$6 105 to ZWL$19 357 in mere 11 weeks.

The loss of purchasing power has caused ructions in workplaces where the majority of employees are earning in local currency.

Teachers recently rejected a US$20 increase.

According to ZimStats the month-on-month inflation rate for March 2024, was 4,9%, shedding 0,5 percentage points on the February 2024 rate of 5,4%.

Annual inflation raced to 55,3% in March from 47,62% in February.

“This means that prices as measured by the all-items CPI, increased by an average of 55,3% between March 2023 and March 2024.”

However, prominent US economist Steve Hanke says the local currency has depreciated by 95% against the US dollar since January 1, 2023.

According to him, Zimbabwe’s inflation for the past five years stands at 1 521%, making it the highest in the world.

Hanke’s annual inflation rate is implied using purchasing power parity from free and parallel market exchange rates data.

NewsDay

https://www.newsday.co.zw/local-news/article/200024918/zim-food-basket-jumps-622

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