FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube says Zimbabwe will not publish annual inflation numbers until February next year to enable ZimStat to collect more data to compare the price statistics on a like-to-like basis in a move seen as an attempt to conceal rising inflation for the next six months.
In his mid-term fiscal policy review yesterday, Ncube said ZimStat, the country’s statistical office, will not be publishing annualised inflation numbers until next February.
“The change in the currency regime from multi-currency to Zimbabwe Dollar has definitely impacted on the base for calculation of CPI indices and hence inflation.
“Given this transition, Zimstat will defer publication of year-on-year inflation, while building up data of prices in mono-currency for a period of 12 months to February 2020. This will ensure that we compare like-with-like in terms of currency regimes,” he said.
“This is in line with what was done in 2009 after the change of currency regime, whereby Zimstat resorted to only gazetting month-on-month inflation. Year-on-year inflation publication will therefore resume after February 2020, alongside with month-on-month inflation publication.”
Ncube said consumers and investors should focus on month-on-month numbers to gauge price movements.
Annualised inflation in Zimbabwe surged to 175,66% in June, up from 97,85% in May.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 39,9% in June compared with 12,545% in May, raising the spectre of hyperinflation yet again. Hyperinflation occurs when prices rise at least 50% per month.