BRI NEWS Zimbabweans continue to grapple with high prices as inflation remains high


Zimbabweans continue to grapple with high prices as inflation remains high


15:09, September 19, 2019


(Photo: Getty Images)

Zimbabweans continue to grapple with rising prices of basic commodities and other goods as the local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWL), continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar and inflation remains high.

Many producers and retailers continue to peg their prices against the U.S. dollar, which has seen prices of many goods and services continue to rise in tandem with the U.S. dollar to Zimbabwe dollar rate.

The interbank rate which put the Zimbabwe dollar at 8.8 against the U.S. dollar in mid-July has almost doubled and is now around 14.8 Zimbabwe dollars to the U.S. dollar.

The parallel market rate was between 16.40 and 16.60 to the U.S. dollar as at Sept. 17 amid fears that it would hit 17 before the end of the week.

Prices of many commodities have more than doubled in recent months, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) saying that inflation remained the major challenge facing the economy.

According to the central bank, annual headline inflation accelerated from 56.9 percent in January to 175.5 percent in June.

The government has since suspended the publication of the annual inflation figures until February 2020 to avoid miscalculation of the country’s inflation given the changes in functional currency from the U.S. dollar to the Zimbabwe dollar in June.

RBZ fears, however, that the annual inflation could breach the 200 percent mark before stabilizing towards the end of the year.

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