Zimbabwe month-on-month inflation wanes

In a developing that is pointing to weakening inflation in the country, latest official figures show that Zimbabwe’s month-on-month inflation rate for December 2019 stood at 16.55 percent shedding 0.91 percentage points on the November 2019 rate of 17.46 percent.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTATS), this development “means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average rate of 16.55 percent from November 2019 to December 2019.”

The CPI is the national consumer price index.

The latest ZIMSTATS numbers show that the month-on-month 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 previous month in the current year.

On the other hand, the month on month Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages inflation rate stood at 15.75 percent in December 2019, shedding 6.88 percentage points on the November 2019 rate of 22.63 percent.

The month on month non-food inflation rate stood at 17.14 percent, gaining 3.20 percentage points on the November 2019 rate of 13.94 percent.

The CPI for the month ending December 2019 stood at 551.63 compared to 473.28 in November 2019.

“It is important to note that data on prices was collected during the period from 12 to 18 December 2019,” said ZIMSTATS.

“The changes in prices in this report refer to that period.”

For year on year inflation rate calculation, Zimbabwe banned those numbers last year, but as Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube indicated at the time, the year on year rates should be re-introduced this year.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that as of March 2019 ZIMSTAT commenced publishing the new Consumer Price Index (CPI) with new weights and a classification.

The use of a Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) resulted in the creation of a new classification which resulted in coming up with 83 classes, 41 groups and 12 divisions.

The number of items in the CPI basket is 495.

According to ZIMSTATS, the implementation of the COICOP classification is also part of the harmonisation project of Consumer Price Indices in different regions like the SADC region.

All member states are supposed to adopt the new procedure to enable inter country comparisons of the CPI and the rate of inflation. The new weights arehave been applicable from February 2019 onwards.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende