Inflation down to 2,99pc

HARARE - Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation rate dipped to 2,99 percent in November from 3,38 percent in the previous month, Zimbabwe Statistics (Zimstats) has said.

Zimstats said the decline was due to lower clothing and wine costs.

The month-on-month inflation rate in November stood at 0,13 percent shedding 0,13 percentage points on the October 2012 rate of 0,26 percent.

“This means that prices as measured by all items consumer price index increased by an average of 2,99 percentage points between November 2011 and November 2012,” said Zimstats.

The year-on-year 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 same month in the previous year.

The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation, prone to transitory shocks, stood at 3,85 percent whilst non-food inflation stood at 2,61 percent.

Zimbabwe’s inflation has remained below five percent since adoption of the multi-currency system — dominated by the United States dollar.

Since the formation of the power-sharing government, unavailable goods returned to the shelves, although prices initially stabilised; they have been fluctuating of late.

However, the country remains a major importer of mainly South African products.

In his 2013 national budget, Finance minister Tendai Biti said inflation is projected to remain below five percent, mainly underpinned by slowdown in global food prices, steady international oil prices, improved domestic capacity utilisation and managed expectations.

“The country continues to score positively in maintaining stable price levels, with annual inflation for the greater part of 2012 remaining in the three to 4,5 percent band,” Biti said.

“Stability in the price level has also benefitted from supply improvements, containment of costs, particularly the wage bill, depressed demand under tight liquidity conditions, tight market competition, and depreciation of the rand against the US dollar,” he said.

He said in the outlook to December 2012, inflation is expected to pick up due to seasonal induced demand, ending the year at around 3,5 percent.

“…The positive prospects for inflation to year-end 2012 are notwithstanding some volatility in transitory food and fuel prices,” the Treasury chief added. - Business Writer

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