Accuracy of CSO statistics questioned


Arther Chatora

THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has questioned the accuracy of reports from the Central Statistical Office after its claims that the rate of inflation had declined

and foreign currency inflows had improved.


CCZ spokesperson Tonderayi Mukeredzi questioned the accuracy of the price index, citing the recent increase in the prices of most basic commodities.


The Central Statistical Office this week said the annual inflation rate had declined by 54,2% in June to 394,6% from 448,8% for the month of May.

Mukeredzi said the figures released failed to reflect the true picture of the consumers’ position in relation to his spending power and affordability of basic commodities.


He said a low-income earner now requires $1 143 510 a month, up from the previous figure of $1 069 000, reflecting that the prices of goods in a notional basket have increased.


“Since early this year we have noticed a steady increase in the prices of basic commodities, which indicates to us that the mechanism used for checking of unfair increases of basic commodities are not working,” said Mukeredzi.


He said there was a continued trend in price increases which has pushed some commodities beyond the reach of many.


“From our weekly price monitors, we note with concern that the prices of most basic goods are rising beyond the reach of many. This is puzzling to the consumer especially in the wake of official claims that the rate of inflation is declining,” said Mukeredzi.


He called for the extension of the list of commodities that the government recently gazetted. However, previous inflation figures from the CSO have also been questioned with calls from analysts for the review of the consumer basket used.


According to analysts, figures have become unreliable leading to individuals and business ignoring them.


“We have to stop considering them as a true reflection of the rate of inflation. Businesses should come together to produce accurate figures because we cannot depend on those from the CSO,” said one analyst.

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