Zimbabwe: Zimstat to Timeously Release Inflation Figures

26 January 2021

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) will now be timeously releasing monthly inflation figures after the agency announced its migration from paper-based data collection and processing to a computerized system, 263Chat Business has learnt.

Prior to this, Zimstat's inflation figures were always a month-late as it took the agency 30 days to compile and process data before releasing.

"Zimstat would like to inform users that, from January 2021, Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be disseminated in the same month of data collection. Data collection is normally done for five working days around the 15th of every month. Therefore, the date of dissemination will be the 27th of every month.

"This has been made possible by the adoption of computerization in data collection and processing. Prior to this, data collection was paper based. As a result ZIMSTAT was publishing inflation figures 30 days after data collection," said Zimstat.

Government has been making headways in setting up an effective e-government infrastructure that makes all its agencies and programs accessible to the public, albeit at a slow pace due to limited resources.

The move is hence a welcome intervention for government, business and the citizenry as timeous release of vital information such as monthly inflation figures assist in the formulation of informed policy decisions.

Since the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar in February of 2019, inflation rate has been on an upwards trend, with Zimstat often releasing monthly figures a month late.

This inefficiency, created distortions as businesses and other stakeholders relied on wrong data to make decisions.

The Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube made matters worse, when in mid-2019 he ordered Zimstat to suspend release of year-on-year inflation to accommodate currency changes then, a development critics said was meant to muzzle the dire economic situation in the country.

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