Inflation goes down

us_randZIMBABWES inflation slowed again last month, thanks to the lower cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) has said.
The month-on-month rate was 0,4 percent in August, compared with 1% in July.

The month on month inflation rate (monthly percentage change in August 2009 was 0,4% shedding 0,6% points on July 2009 rate of 1,0 percent, CSO said in a statement.

This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by a an average of 0,4 percent from July 2009 to August 2009.

While it is the latest indication that Zimbabwe is recovering from the hyper-inflation of 2008, the CSO still does not publish an annual rate.

Last year, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate soared as high as 231,000,000% as its economy collapsed.

This prompted the CSO to abandon releasing the annual rate every month.

The month on month food and non alcoholic beverages inflation stood at 0,05 PERCENT IN August 2009 shedding 0,18 percentage points on the July rate of 0,23. The month on month non-food inflation stood at 0,52 percent shedding 0,81 percentage points on the July rate of 1,3 percent.

The national unity government, formed in February, has since started efforts to both help the economy recover and try to get inflation under control.

One of its first decisions was to allow people to use foreign currencies, a move that has now in effect removed the worthless Zimbabwean dollar from circulation.

Analyst Philip Walker of the Economist Intelligence Unit, said the CSO’s latest inflation data appeared to be broadly accurate.

“While you have to take the figure with a pinch of salt, it is really the only even vaguely reliable source,” he said.

“Zimbabwean inflation is certainly not at the level seen this time last year ago… the fact they have abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar has certainly helped.”

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund said it would give Zimbabwe a $400m (241m) loan to boost its cash reserves.

However, political tensions remain in the government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change.

Tsvangirai has said his party members continue to face violence and intimidation.

Commentators say this political instability will continue to deter badly-needed overseas private investment.

Post published in: Agriculture

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