The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says a family of six now requires $1 million a month to survive, up from $611 275 in April, reflecting the depth of the Zimdollar’s crash and resultant price spikes.
Zimbabwe is now caught up in a vortex of a rapidly weakening currency, rising inflation, price spikes that have left workers facing impoverishment as wages and earnings fail to keep pace.
Yesterday, the Zimbabwe dollar further crashed to $3 555 from $2 577 against the US dollar, where the highest bid was at $4 100.
On the parallel market, the Zimdollar was trading at 1:6 000 against the greenback.
CCZ director Rosemary Mpofu said the cost of living rose by 62% between April and May, while the prices of goods and services in United States dollars had gone down by 31,4 %.
“The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe low-income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six stands currently at $1 015 962,61,” Mpofu said.
“This is a sharp increase because the basket has shot from the month of April, where it was $611 275. When we look at the basket as we measure it, we find out that the low-income earner is mainly earning in the Zimbabwean dollar.
“But the cost of living has really increased from the April figure to the May figure and it has constituted a percentage increase of 62,2%.
“The new analysis that we use in US$ has decreased by 31,4% so prices have increased in Zimbabwe dollar terms and yet in US$ have decreased by 31,4%.”
Last month, the Zimdollar tumbled by nearly 60% on the official market, the biggest collapse in one month since the auction system was introduced three years ago.
Latest statistics by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency show that the annual inflation shot by 11,3 percentage points from April to 86,5% in May.
Monthly inflation has reached double digits after rising sharply from 2,4% in April to 15,7% in May.
Steve Hanke, a professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University, argues that Zimbabwe’s inflation is at 717%.