By Alois Vinga
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s latest monthly economic review shows that inflation decelerated to 21% in July this year, contradicting the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) which have both reported higher inflationary figures.
The central bank review, entitled “Monthly Economic Review, July 2019” says there has been a huge monthly inflationary figures decline.
Says the report in part, “Month-on-month inflation decelerated from 39.3% in June 2019 to 21.04% in July 2019. The decline was reflected in both monthly food and non-food inflation.
“Monthly food inflation fell from 55.1% in June 2019 to 19.90% in July 2019, driven by bread and cereals; meat; vegetables; and oils and fats.”
According to the review, month-on-month non-food inflation declined by 10 percentage points, from 31.23% in June 2019 to 22 % in July 2019, largely driven by furniture and household goods; clothing and footwear; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and transport.
Surprisingly, Zimstat statistics say an average Zimbabwean family now spends at least $1 617 on food and non-food items a month, indicating a 15,18% in the month of July 2019.
According to Zimstat, the total consumption poverty line (TCPL) has risen significantly from the $1 404.26 recorded in June.
“The TCPL for an average household (of five) in July 2019 ranged from $1 369 in Mashonaland Central province to $1 862 in Matabeleland North province,” Zimstat said on Friday.
The TCPL for one person stood at $324 in July 2019, an increase of 15,18% from the June figure of $280,85.
The July food poverty datum line (FPL) for an average family of five people stood at $639.63, indicating a 14,1% increase from June 2019.
IMF recently reported annual inflation in Zimbabwe was 300 percent in August.
At that level, the troubled southern African nation’s inflation rate is the highest in the world.
Annualised inflation in Zimbabwe was measured at 175.66 percent in June, up from 97.85 percent in May.
The conflicting figures come after a period when Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube had barred the publication of inflation statistics to allow ZIMSTAT to compile new price data.