December Inflation Eases To 16.6 Percent

Month-on-month inflation for December as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 0.91 percent slower than the previous month of November closing at 16.55 percent, latest data from Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) shows.

The CPI for the month ending December 2019 stood at 551.63 compared to 473.28 in November 2019.

Month-on-month inflation rate is given by the percentage change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared to the index of the previous month in the current year.

The slowdown was mainly driven by the food and non-alcoholic beverages category which shed 6.88 percentage points from November inflation rate to post 15.75 percent growth.

“The month on month inflation rate in December 2019 was 16.55 percent shedding 0.91 percentage points on the November 2019 rate of 17.46 percent,” Zimstat said in a statement.

“The month on month Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages inflation rate stood at 15.75 percent in December 2019, shedding 6.88 percentage points on the November 2019 rate of 22.63 percent. The month on month non-food inflation rate stood at 17.14 percent, gaining 3.20 percentage points on the November 2019 rate of 13.94 percent,” further read the statement.

Analysts have commended the gradual stability in the local currency during the period as having eased exchange rate pressures which in turn tend to pushes inflation.

“The Zimbabwe dollar was trading steadily against major currencies so it sort of minimized the rate of inflation. Price still went up though but these figures show that its slowed down compared to prior month,” economic analyst, Pepukai Chivore told 263Chat Business.

However, the statistics agency is expected to publish annual inflation figures next month as per instruction by the Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube last year who cited the true picture of inflationary trends would only be genuinely reported after a complete year cycle.

However, various economists such as Professor Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, have put Zimbabwe’s annual inflation for 2019 in the region of 519 percent.

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