Inflation drops

HARARE - Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation rate shed 0,42 percentage points to settle at 0,86 percent in September on the back of easing food and non-alcoholic beverages prices, Zimstats said yesterday.

The national statistics agency said prices, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI), “increased by an average of 0,86 percentage points between September 2012 and September this year.”

“The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation, prone to transitory shocks, stood at -0,32 percent while the non-food inflation rate was 1,45 percent,” said Zimstat.

However, there was a slight increase in month-on-month inflation to 0,05 percent from minus 15 percent, gaining 0,20 percentage points in September. Zimstats noted that month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation stood at minus 0,18 percent in September 2013, gaining 0,72 percentage points on the August 2013 rate of -0,90 percent.

“The month-on-month non-food inflation stood at 0,17 percent, shedding 0,06 percentage points on the August 2013 rate of 0,23 percent,” said Zimstat.

This comes as a recent spate of price increases imposed by retailers has sparked another round of wage demands in both the civil service and private sector.

Production capacities in companies have remained stagnant due to a myriad of factors, including lack of working capital resulting in employers failing to adjust salaries.

Retailers have continued to increase prices despite employers failing to award decent salaries in line with the prevailing economic environment.

The impact on already income-constrained consumers would be to further resort to lower-priced imported products, with adverse consequences for local production and employment.

Analysts yesterday said inflation pressures would be felt into the last quarter of the year, following recent increases in food prices.

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