Consumer goods prices continue to soar


HARARE - Zimbabwe consumer prices are surging as basics mark their fastest rise this year, with experts blaming the rise on profiteering by retailers.

The price of beef soared month-on-month to $7,50 per kg this month from an average of $4,50 in October 2016.

The price of table eggs surged from $5 to $6,40 this month,  pushing up the overall price gains of food costs.

Core inflation was 2,24 percent in October, compared to the 0,78 percent y-o-y reading in the previous month.

The prices of toothpaste, soaps and hair products have also significantly increased.

According to the latest consumer price index (CPI) data, inflation spiked the highest this year in October. Inflation levels in many salient sub-indices remained stagnant during mid-2017, compelling the government to introduce an additional $300m worth of bond notes under a stand-by liquidity support facility in September — with the aim of stimulating forex liquidity.

In addition, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) secured an $600m nostro stabilisation facility in September in a move to address the forex shortage situation amid a growing backlog of foreign payments.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu said: “While there is still a shortage of foreign currency, we also notice that there is a bit of indiscipline which is still deep rooted in businesses.”

“Labour has not gone up but production cost is going up. Our call as we approach the festive season is that players should desist from price increases based on profiteering. We hope that even the unregistered business don’t continue to take advantage of the consumer.

“Yesterday when we were doing a survey, we discovered that some unregistered as well as registered businesses are refusing to accept mobile money, some claim not to have swipe facilities and others are putting a maximum of $2 bond coins and the rest has to be of higher denominations. This is happening even at the Chinese shops and Indian shops.”