HARARE – Zimbabwe's annual inflation gained 0,64 percent in September to 0,78 percent from 0,14 percent as prices went up during the month under review, official data shows.
Zimstat yesterday said prices as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by an average of 0,78 percentage points between September 2016 and September 2017.
“The year-on-year food and non alcoholic beverages inflation prone to transitory shocks stood at 2,49 percent whilst the non-food inflation rate was -0,01 percent,” Zimstat said.
Month-on-month, the inflation rate in September 2017 was 0,38 percent gaining 0,51 percentage points on the August 2017 rate of -0,13 percent meaning prices as measured by the all items CPI increased at an average rate of 0,38 percent from August 2017 to September 2017.
The month-on-month food and non alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at 0,66 percent in September 2017, gaining 1,13 percentage points on the August 2017 rate of -0,47 percent.
Month-on-month, non-food inflation rate stood at 0,25 percent, gaining 0,22 percentage points on the August 2017 rate of 0,03 percent.
In September 2017, price increases were observed in rice, breakfast cereals, macaroni and noodles in all the provinces.
Also increases were observed in cooking oil in all the provinces. Increases in beef were also observed in Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland West, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Mashonaland West provinces.
Increases in tobacco prices were observed in Mashonaland East, Mat South and Midlands provinces.
While the World Bank predicts a 3,2 percent inflation for 2017 rising to 9,6 percent in 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Zimbabwe’s inflation will rise to seven percent by year-end.
Regional think-tank NKC Economics analyst, Chantelle Matthee, said inflation will continue to trend gradually higher in the coming months.
“… Nevertheless, price pressures moderated last month, ascribed to lower food inflation and the reading on the housing, water, gas and other fuels sub-index falling deeper into deflation territory.
“The World Bank and IMF are concerned about the bond notes losing their value against the US dollar, thereby fuelling inflation…,” the economist said.
Following recent reports that the central bank is looking at increasing the amount of domestic bond notes in circulation beyond an initial $200 million cap, Matthee said this could put inflationary pressures on the domestic market.
The analyst also said Zimbabwe’s liquidity constraints were anticipated to keep inflation low.