Inflation Down 0,4%

ZIMBABWE’S monthly consumer inflation eased last month, eight months after government scrapped its worthless currency, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said on Wednesday.

The CSO said the month-on-month rate was 0,4% in August, compared with 1% in July.

“The month on month inflation rate (monthly percentage change) in August 2009 was 0,4% shedding 0,6% points on July 2009 rate of 1,0 %,” CSO said in a statement.

This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI increased by an average of 0,4% from July 2009 to August 2009.

 

The agency did not say what caused declines in both food and non-food inflation, reversing the trend in July.

While it is the latest indication that Zimbabwe is recovering from the hyperinflation of 2008, the CSO still does not publish an annual rate.

The last official year-on-year inflation figure by CSO was 231 million % in July last year.

Addressing the inaugural international mining indaba on Wednesday Finance minister Tendai Biti said the International Monetary Fund estimated the country’s year-on-year inflation to be five billion percent in March, a figure which some analyst said was too high.

The month-on-month food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation stood at 0,05% in August 2009 shedding 0,18 percentage points on the July rate of 0,23%.

The month on month non-food inflation stood at 0,52% shedding 0,81 percentage points on the July rate of 1,3%.

“The CPI for the month ending August 2009 stood at 91,7% compared to 91,3% in July 2009,” CSO said.
Analysts said inflation would continue to decline if there is increased investment in the country, which could result in all sectors of the economy at above 65% of capacity.

Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma on Wednesday said the Zimbabwe Investment Authority had received 54 investment proposals since January, 49 of the proposal have been approved.

“Of the approved, 15 are mining projects worth US$450 million and some of the projects are already being developed,” Mangoma said during the mining indaba.

However Rio Tinto’s head of the diamond unit, Niels Kristensen said Zimbabwe would not see new investment in its mining sector unless uncertainty over a mining law and fiscal policy were resolved.

Speaking during the mining conference Kristensen said he was encouraged by the country’s intent to improve its mining sector, but “more was required to resolve uncertainty on the mining law, monetary and fiscal policies and marketing arrangements”.

“Until we see some certainty, there will not be significant investment in mining,” he said.

Paul Nyakazeya

Top