FIGUES released by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) this week show that the crackdown on prices has failed to curb inflation as government had anticip
ated. The numbers show that inflation has started galloping again with the year-on-year rate for September reaching a new all time high of 7 892,1% gaining 1 389,3 percentage points on the August rate of 6 592,8%.
The month-on-month inflation rate was 38,7% gaining 26,9 percentage points from the August rate of 11,8%.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation stood at 7 759% down 149,1 percentage points from 7 908,1% recorded in August. Non-food inflation was at 8 096,7% which is 1 112,8 percentage points up from 5 983,9%.
“Year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation stood at 7 759%, 149 percentage points down from the August 2007 figure of 7 908,1%, while non-food inflation was 8 096,7% from the August figure of 5,983.9 percent,” the CSO said. “The month-on-month rate of inflation rose by 38%, triggered by new economic measures which were put in place to mitigate against the widespread food shortages which had crippled the country,” said the CSO.
It said the September Food Poverty Line for a family of five stood at $7,5 million, up 65% on a monthly basis and 18 446,6% on an annual basis while Total Consumption Line for an average of five persons stood at $22,6 million during the same month.
The country’s inflation rate opened the year at 1 593,6% before increasing to 1 729,9%, 2 200,2% and 3 713,9% respectively in February, March and April.
The figure rose further to 4 530%, 7251,1% and 7 634,8% in May, June and July before declining for the second time since March 2005 to 6 592,8% in August.
Analysts say the trend is likely to continue on the back of excessive money printing and food shortages.
“Most commodities are found on the black market where they are sold at exorbitant prices. It does not need an expert to see that the inflation rate is actually higher if you use the black market prices at which most people are getting the commodities,” said an economist with a local commercial bank.