Zimbabwe’s annual inflation slows to 3.6%

2010-11-16 10:12

Harare – Zimbabwe’s annual inflation eased to 3.6% for the month of October from the September rate of 4.2%, the government statistics agency has said.

“The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of October 2010 as measured by the all-items consumer price index stood at 3.6%,” said the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.

Monthly inflation was 0.2% in October from 0.1% in September, the agency said.

The agency attributed the rise in monthly inflation to higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The strengthening of the rand in neighbouring South Africa has pushed up prices in Zimbabwe, which still relies on imports from South Africa as local manufacturers battle to recover from the effects of a decade-long economic crisis.

The agency said a family of five required at least $462 (R3 225) a month to buy food and non-food items.

Most government workers earn an average salary of $200 a month, and unemployment remains high.

Zimbabwe’s inflation has fallen dramatically in the past two years since the formation of a coalition government that offloaded the inflation-ravaged local dollar in favour of the US dollar.

The last official estimate of inflation in Zimbabwe dollars in 2008 was 230 million percent, but independent experts said the real figure was in the billions.

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