CoL soars to $43,2m

Paul Nyakazeya

THE cost of living as depicted by PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) for a high income family of six rose to $43,2 million a year from $2,3 million (revalued)

last year.

PWC noted this week that the main inflation drivers during the period under review were consumables, which went up 2 633% year-on-year, domestic workers, up 2 627%, and personal care which rose by 2 362%.

On a month-on-month basis, domestic workers were up 150%, canned foods advanced 66%, while personal care was 62% higher. Day schooling showed the lowest annualised increase at 729%, followed by air travel on 1 001%.

“The record month-on-month rate for high income earners was 48,9% in September. A high income family now requires $43,2 million a year to live compared with $34,16 million in October, $24,12 million in September and $16,2 million in August,” PWC said.

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ inflation series for November, the high income inflation index rose by 26,5% month-on-month and 1 716% year-on-year.

“High income inflation was running at 1 716% year-on-year in November, having risen by 26,5% from October. It was a slight decline on October figure of 1 736%,” said PWC. It said inflation for middle income earners during the same period was accelerating at 1 966%, a record rate among all 3 categories (high income, middle income and low income).

“Inflation for middle income earners was up 1 966% in the year, having risen 37,5% on the month with consumerables showing the largest annual gain at 2 821%, while medical was the lowest at 1 168%,” PWC said.

In October, middle income inflation was running at 1 612% year on year. Canned foods drove the month-on-month increase, rising 79% from October, while consumerables were up 67% on the month.

A middle income family now requires $18,62 million a year to live the life they were accustomed to, compared with $13,54 million in October, $10,06 million in September and $901 435 in November last year.

Prices for low income earners rose by an average 37,7% on the month and were accelerating 1 658% on the year, more than 200 percentage points up on October’s 1 442%, but below the record 1 773% achieved in July.

“The figure was driven largely by the 2 962% increase in the cost of personal care year-on-year. At 953%, rent was showing the lowest annualised increase,” said PWC.

It said the annual income required at $2,878 million compared with $2,09 million in October, $1,561 million in September, and $163 682 in November last year suggesting that taking the government’s parameters for measuring of inflation, prices rose by 30,5% between November and October, and were accelerating at 1 102% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe’s low-income urban earner’s monthly budget for a family of six were most Zimbabweans fall under has risen from $141 706,79 in October, to 208 714,84 in November reflecting a 47,3% increase.

In US$ terms the Family Basket shifted from US$566,83 in October to US$834,86 in November.

During the month under review notable increases were recorded in Roller Meal which rose by 197,79%, cooking oil by 196,16%, washing bars by 112,12%, rice by 95,30%, salt by 91,05%, margarine by 85,03%, and transport by 50%.

The total cost of the family basket increased at an increased rate by 47,3% in November. In October and September it rose by 26,4% and16,3% respectively.