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Inflation puzzle leaves us in awe



IN your edition (Zimbabwe Independent May 14) TC Kabell in “getting it straight on inflation” and Eric Bloch both mention and compare inflation rates.



, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Kabell attempted to help us recognise the real rate of inflation.


Government and some journalists compare numbers to show whatever is good or bad, high or low, better or worse! Different writers use different measures of quantities!


We are told about tonnes of grain or sacks or hectares so that it becomes impossible to draw the right conclusions.


We give up, still wondering what the true position is regarding whether we are to starve or live well in the coming months.


Deductions from Bloch’s assertions regarding 10% of offshore Zimbabweans contributing US$100 per month proved absolutely correct.

Looking further, would I be correct in assuming/calculating that the US$1,7 million which Bloch mentioned had been contributed by 17 000 people if we use the rate of US$100 each?


Since we love percentages today, this is 0,5% of the off-shore Zimbabweans.


But back to the rate of inflation, can someone explain how one can compare Kabell’s monthly inflation of 6% over the first two months of this year with Bloch’s assertion that “prices rose by 27,63% in the first three months” of this year?


Does this mean that 27,63 x 4 would be the expected inflation till the end of the year? This would work out at around 120% (three months is one quarter of 12 months). If this is what economists term ‘year-on-year’ inflation, it looks good compared with 600% of last year – so I must be wrong!


Could the editor please rule that numbers must be compared with other numbers of the same thing as it is so hard for me to add and subtract apples and oranges and come out with the answer in apples or oranges – not just fruit.



Petra,

Harare.

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