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Pricing system pushes up cost of living in Zimbabwe

by Staff Reporter
18 Dec 2017 at 11:16hrs | Views
THE cost of living for a family of six increased by 0.72 percent in November to $598.16 due to fluctuations in fuel prices and the effect of multi-tier pricing by retailers, a report has shown.

A survey by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) that focused on an urban low-income earners for a family of six, shows that the cost of living increased from $593.55 to $598.16 by end-November 2017.

"As CCZ we assume the increase in price could be attributed to various factors, these include fluctuations in fuel prices and multi-tier pricing by retailers. Some supermarkets have taken advantage of these situations by increasing the prices of basic commodities by small amounts such as 1c, 2c, 3c to 40c and consumers are not able to notice the change," said CCZ.

"The increase in prices could also be attributed to the festive season where retailers take advantage of consumers having more money to spend. The use of mobile money has also been noted as contributing to increases in prices of basic commodities especially at retail shops that do not have merchant codes and charge an extra percentage on goods."

The food basket increased by $4.62 or 3.16 percent from $146.12 by end-October to $150.74 by end of November 2017, said the consumer watchdog.

"Increases were recorded in roller meal by $0.25 from $8.64 to $8.89, sugar by $0.04 from $1.91 to $1.95, tea leaves by $0.02 from $1.74 to $1.76, fresh milk by $0.15 from $0.50 to $0.65, rice by $0.36 from $2.35 to $2.71, laundry bar by 0.14 from $1.43 to $1.57 and cabbage by $0.01 from $0.65 to $0.66. Decreases were recorded in margarine by $0.14 from $1.51 to $1.37, flour by $0.05 from $1.88 to $1.83, salt by $0.18 from $0.46 to $0.28, tomatoes by $0.06 from $0.99 to $0.93, onions by $0.23 from $1.01 to $0.78 and washing powder by $0.19 from $1.57 to $1.38 and cooking oil by $0.01 from $1.70 to $1.69," it said.

CCZ, however, said during the period under review some product prices remained unchanged. For example, prices for bread and bathing soap remain unchanged from the price figure of end of October.

The consumer watchdog said the Avian flu and banning of poultry by South Africa has seen shortage of eggs in the market and some increases in poultry meat prices. CCZ encouraged consumers to shop conscientiously and to always buy certified products.

"The Avian flu that has struck Zimbabwean poultry market and also the banning of poultry from South Africa because of the same has resulted in shortages of eggs in the market and some increases in the prices of poultry meat. We also assume that this has been the cause of the increase in prices of beef products.

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Source - Chronicle