March inflation slips further into negative at -2,31 percent


RBZ governor John Mangudya (left) and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa

ZIMBABWE’S  annual inflation for March shed 0,09 percentage points to -2,31 percent as the country continues to be affected by weak aggregate demand and lower import costs following the strengthening of the US dollar against the main trading partner’s currency; the South African rand.

According to figures released by Zimstat, prices as measured by the all items CPI decreased by an average of -2,31 percentage points between March 2015 and March 2016.

Annual inflation has remained in negative territory since October 2014.

The year on year Food and Non Alcoholic beverages inflation prone to transitory shocks stood at -4,13%  while the Non-food inflation rate was -1,43%. Getting a larger share of the wallet of shoppers continues to be a challenge for retailers and competition remains intense. With weak aggregate demand and low disposable income, retailers continue to support their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share leading to widespread deflation. On the opposite side lower import costs due to the weak rand have also contributed to the negative position.

The month on month inflation rate in March 2016 was -0,12% shedding 0.02 percentage points on February 2016 rate of -0,10 percent.

The month on month Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages inflation rate stood at -0,13% in March 2016, shedding 0,11 percentage points on the February 2016 rate of -0,03%. The month on month non-food inflation rate stood at -0.11 percent, gaining 0,03 percentage points on the February 2016 rate of -0,14 percent.

Rentals inflation was at -14.13% as property owners continue to adjust rentals in line with the slowdown in economic performance, Furniture and Equipment was at -4.04% as generally consumers are sticking to basic consumption. Alcoholic beverages was at -3.21 mainly due to pressure on beers which was at -3.86 following a couple of price moderations made during the year by the country’s main producer.

The CPI for the month ending March 2016 stood at 96.81 compared to 96.92 in February 2016 and 99.09 in March 2015. FinX

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