Cost of living remains high

A family of six needs $561,67 to survive for a month, according to the latest figures from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ).

Report by Gamma Mudarikiri

The May figures, despite a slight decline from $571,51 the previous month, show that a majority of Zimbabweans can barely sustain themselves, as civil servants earn about half that money.

Food and detergent prices declined slightly and this has been attributed to the 1,72% decrease in the consumer basket.

The consumer basket measures the prices of the basics that a family needs to survive for a month.

The food basket decreased by $10 to $149,70, while detergents shed 21 cents to $12,97 in the same period.

Decreases in prices were recorded in mealie-meal, which went down by a $1 to $10,78.

Flour decreased by 5c to $1,85, tea leaves by 10c to $1,65, rice by 30c to $1,69, beef 90c to $3,90 and washing powder which shed off 11c to $1,35.

Fuel prices went down by between 6c and 10c in the last two weeks of May.

CCZ said the prices of the other basic commodities including margarine, bread, and fresh milk, cabbage, salt and bath soaps remained unchanged from the April figures.

However, white sugar went up by 10c to $2,20, cooking oil 4c to $1,79, tomatoes 3c to 98c, onions 5c to $1,30 while laundry bars cost jumped 3c to $1,35.

CCZ said the fluctuation in prices was a result of promotions done by various supermarkets in the period.

The CCZ survey is conducted twice during the first and the last weeks of each month.

The total cost of the food basket and the price of each commodity are arrived at by averaging prices gathered from several retail outlets throughout the country.
CCZ warned consumers to shop consciously and buy certified products.

It further encouraged that where products are not certified, consumers should exercise their right to information by carefully examining if the products they are purchasing are well labelled, packaged and provided with vital information such as manufacturing and expiry dates and ingredients used in the make-up of the product.

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