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Cost of living up 45%

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Zimbabwe’s cost of living for an average family of six rose 45.34% in September to ZWL$20 985.01 from ZWL$14 438.23 in August following a sharp increase in utilities and rentals, the consumer watchdog has said.

Several people, who spoke to Business Times this week fear the rising cost of everyday expenses, threaten their long term financial health.

In contrast, foreign currency exchange rate has been stable in the past two months.

The Zimbabwe dollar has been trading around ZWL$81 against the United States dollar.

“The cost of living as measured by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased to ZWL$20,985.01 at the end of September 2020,” CCZ said.

“The food basket increased by ZWL $568.45 or 5.29% to ZWL$11, 311.27 by the end of September 2020 from ZWL$10 742.82 by the end of August 2020.

The price of detergents increased by ZWL$122.96 or 13.12% to ZWL$1,059.74 from ZWL$936.78.

“This steep increase has been caused by increases that were made of non-food items such as transport, rent, water electricity, health and education,” CCZ said.

The soaring cost of living comes at a time when disgruntled workers, especially teachers and nurses, are rolling out demonstrations demanding higher pay and working conditions.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union president Peter Mutasa said the cost of living figure was actually an understatement and shows that most workers were now classified as working poor.

“Workers are earning less than 25% of the consumer basket as most workers cannot secure basic goods for the family,” Mutasa said.

Zimbabwe is also experiencing subdued production across all economic sectors.

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