In 20 years your grocery bill will be $530 a month!
By Stella day
Inflation may not only be the ruin of the working classes in 20 years time. It would well be the ruin of the rich, too, if it continues at its present rate of 12 percent in Zimbabwe to the year 2000.
If you were a pensioner living on a fixed monthly income of, say, $500 a month you wouldn't even be able to pay your rent.
Economists calculate that based on our present 1 percent inflation yearly up to 2000, a modest rental of $80 today would have increased to at least $578 a month. Even a normal grocery and food bill of $55 a month today would cost $530 a month then - again more than a fixed pension.
A loaf of bread (21c today) would cost at least $2; a bottle of mil (600ml) at16c would be $1.54 and a modest 5kg of maize meal costing 51c now would cost $4.92 at the urn of the century - the same price you would have to pay for a packet of 30 cigarettes.
If yo wanted to get away from it all and holiday in Britain the return excursion flight, at present 660 would be $6366.
Even a short return business trip to Johannesburg, now about $178 would set you back $1717. A packet of crisps for a child to nibble on the journey at 10c today would cost just short of a dollar - 96c.
If you wanted to celebrate New year 2000 with a bottle of whiskey (today about $12.50 if you can get scotch), the cost then would be at least $10.
A modest luncheon for two at at $10 for yourself and wife or girlfriend would then be at least $96 and a small bouquet would set you back $48 as a token of your regard.
She would have to pay bout $145 for a dress cosing only $15 today and that smart $80 suit you've just bought would co you $578 in 000.
"Fine", you might say. "But then my present salary of about $70 a month would have increased with inflation to $6752 monthly".
True, but like most things in life the larger costs increase faster than smaller gains.
A middle income house priced at $20000 today would cost $193000 in the year 2000, a $5500 car would be $53000.
But if you had the chance to buy and ounce of gold at $400 today it would be worth about $3858 in 20 years time at the present rate of inflation inZimbabwe A Salisbury economist. Mr John Robertson, said "at our present rate of inflation, which is not high compared with some other countries, i the year 2000 the dollar value today would have the purchasing power of only about 10c or slightly less today's money".
Well - neither Stella nor John were far wrong - and now..........well that is another story!