Zimbabwe: Tough Times Ahead As Family Monthly Basket Hits $40 000

28 September 2021

The majority of Zimbabweans will now have to fork out a total of $39 924 per month to meet their daily expenses for an average family of six, the latest data from Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) shows.

The statistics agency reported Monday that the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in September 2021 stood at $4 734 while the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person stood at $6,654.

"The TCPL of $6 654 represents the total income needed for an individual with all their income added together as a minimum for them not to be deemed poor," ZIMSTAT said in a statement.

As a result an average family of six members now requires nearly $40 000 to meet their monthly expenses up from $37 165 recorded last month.

This is a 4,8% increase.

In February this year, the monthly cost of living for an ordinary family was $25 935.

However, the increases do not match what the majority of workers are earning as their monthly salaries are below $20 000.

The latest research conducted by the International Labour Organisations (ILO) shows some workers in the informal sector are earning less than $1 000 with the majority of jobs in the sector being described as "survivalist".

Zimbabwe's cash-strapped government is battling to contain the fury of civil servants who continue to demand to be paid in US dollars as the local dollar continues to lose value on the popular parallel market.

At the official Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) market, the US dollar is pegged at US$1/Z$85, but ordinary citizens buy the US dollar at US$1/ Z$160.

Most prices in Zimbabwe's largely informal economy are pegged in US dollars due to the lack of confidence in the unstable local currency. This discrepancy is leaving public workers and a majority in the private sector to rue their meagre salaries.

Meanwhile, according to ZIMSTAT, the month-on-month inflation rate in September was at 4,73% increasing by 0,55 % from the August 2021 rate of 4,18%.

The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate stood at 4,82% in September 2021, increasing by 1,68% compared to August's rate of 3,14%.

The month-on-month non-food inflation rate stood at 4,67%, shedding 0,28 % points on the August rate of 4,95%.

The year-on-year inflation rate for September as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 51,55%.

"This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average of 51,55% between September 2020 and September 2021," ZIMSTAT said.

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