Zimbabwe: Inflation Slows Down

16 January 2020

Zimbabwe's month on month inflation dropped to 16,55 percent in December after shedding 0,91 percentage points from the previous month, according to data from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Office released yesterday.

Although the figure is the lowest level reached since May 2019, it still missed the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe target of 10 percent.

Inflation slowed to 16,55 percent month-on-month from 17,46 percent in November as the exchange rate, both on the parallel and interbank markets remained relatively stable.

This means prices as measured by all items CPI increased by an average rate of 16,55 percent from November 2019 to December 2019.

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, Zimstats said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had anticipated Zimbabwe's monthly inflation rate will fall to 10 percent by December on account of fiscal and monetary policy reforms.

The inflation figures reflect monthly price growth and the decline does not imply a fall in prices, but signifies slower pace of average price increases.

Since the rate is derived from average prices in a consumer basket, in some instances not all products may have increased, as some would have remained unchanged or even declined.

The mean month-on-month rate of inflation for the period January to December 2019 was 17 percent, while the mean for the same period in 2018 was 3,1 percent.

The CPI for the month ending December 2019 was 551,63 compared to 473,28 in November 2019.

The data on prices was collected during the period from 12 to 18 December 2019.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, said last week that the central bank will gradually inject $500 million cash into the economy during the first six months of year to keep broad money supply growth--a major inflation driver in check.

Analysts believe reckless injection of cash into circulation will trigger a wave of price increases, which will in turn spur inflation.

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