Monday, September 21, 2015

Average prices

Average prices declined again in August, taking the index to 97,65, down from 97,95 in July this year, a month-on-month fall of –0,305%. In August last year, the index number was 100,43, so the average price decrease was –2,768%. Last month, the year-on-year decrease was –2,771%. The slight change is accounted for by the extent of the fall in prices between July and August last year being marginally larger at –0,309%. Average prices are now at their lowest level since January 2012. December 2012 = 100 was chosen as the base for this All Items Index.

Only one of the twelve groups showed a slight increase in average prices during August, but three of the twelve showed increases if the year-on-year figures are compared. These figures are shown in the attached basic table. The more detailed table will be sent soon.

Kindest regards,


Thursday, July 23, 2015


From: John <>
Date: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:00:40 +0200
Conversation: "Poverty" Datum Line update
Subject: "Poverty" Datum Line update

An Update of the Poverty Datum Line statistics shows that the average fall in prices matches the fall recorded in the differently constructed Consumer Price Index, the average price levels having fallen by 2,7% between May 2014 and May 2015. However, this analysis shows significant differences between the various centres in the country. Average prices in Harare fell by 6%, but in some centres, the average increased over the year. In  the table below, prices are seen to have increased in Mashonaland Central, Matableland South and Mashonaland East. The steepest fall in prices during the year was in Matabeleland North, where they came down by 8,9%, but prices in that area had been significantly higher than in the rest of the country through the year. On average, in May this year it cost an individual about $20 more than the national average to pay for a month’s basic requirements, but in May 2014, the additional costs for Matableland North residents came to about $28.

The summary table below shows these comparisons, but the full table is attached. In the rows at the bottom of the table I have included the CPI so that it can be compared to the PDL.

I would continue to argue that the use of the word Poverty in the title of this table is incorrect. The exercise makes no claims that individuals on incomes lower than about $100 a month are suffering malnutrition or other poverty-related stresses. If this amount is being earned or received, the figure would place Zimbabwean workers above the one to two dollars a day averages that apply in a great many Third World countries. In Zimbabwe, the problem has been exaggerated by a trades union practice of claiming the Poverty Datum Line to be five times the average usually calculated for an individual. This is to allow for the supposed average of five dependents per worker, but this has been one of the causes of wage levels becoming too high to permit Zimbabwean producers to be competitive against the costs of imports.

I will continue to monitor this series and to send you updates when I can.

Kindest regards,


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Consume rprices June

Average consumer prices dropped further in June, taking the Consumer Price Index down to 97,985 from the May figure of 98,031. Compared to June 2014, the average prices in June 2015 were 2,81% lower.

Comparing the June 2015 prices with those of a month earlier, Food & Non-alcoholic Beverages decreased by 0,45% and smaller decreases were registered for Household maintenance, Household equipment and Health, Recreation and Restaurant & Hotel charges.

Against the figures for June 2014, the biggest falls to June 2015 were for Communications Equipment, which went down by 13,86%, and Education charges, which decreased by 7,09%.over the year, food prices decreased by 3,32% and the few price increases recorded for the main groups were for less than one percent.

The graph below illustrates the recent trend and the basic table is attached. The more detailed table will be sent soon,

Kindest regards,


Monday, July 20, 2015

From John Robertson

The Consumer Price Index moved down in June to 97,985 compared to the Base of 100 for December 2012. As the graph below shows, this was the eighth month in a row that consumer prices fell, and average prices in June were 2,81% lower than they were in June last year and average prices are now lower than they were in February 2012.

The detailed table is attached and it shows that if the June 2015 figures for the 83 listed goods and services are compared with those from a month earlier, the prices of 24 increased, but for 31 items the prices went down and the prices of the remaining 28 remained unchanged.

Comparing the June 2015 figures with those for June 2014, the table shows that 19 items went up in price, but for 58 the prices came down and the balance of six either remained unchanged or returned to the prices charged a year earlier.

While statistics are gathered from all the main urban areas, a high proportion of the records reflect the prices in the retail areas frequented by the bulk of the population in the higher density areas. This might be the main reason why people living in the lower density suburbs will not be able to immediately relate to the claimed price falls shown in the CPI tables.

Kindest regards,


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