August 13, 2004
Harare - Zimbabwe's consumer prices dipped 31.7 percent in July against the previous month but were still 362.9 percent higher year on year, the official statistics bureau said Friday.
"The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of July as measured by the all-items consumer price index (CPI) stood at 362.9 percent, shedding 31.7 percentage points on the June rate of 394.6 percent," the Central Statistics Offices (CSO) said.
The increase in the annual rate of inflation was largely due to hikes in the prices of beverages, bread, cereals, meat, fruits and vegetables.
Zimbabwe's central bank has set an inflation target of around 200 percent by the year end from more than 622.8 percent in January.
The Zimbabwean economy began sliding some four years ago and only started showing signs of slight improvement in recent months following remedial steps taken by the central bank.
Average annual inflation has been on a upward trend since 2000 when it stood at 55.9 percent, rising to 71 percent a year later and surpassing 600 percent two years later.
Zimbabwe has in recent years faced political, economic and social instability, with high unemployment and rising disease rates.
Local non-governmental organisations say up to 80 percent of Zimbabweans live under the poverty line and that between 60 and 80 percent of the employable population is without jobs.
The country has also been plagued by severe food shortages, caused partly by drought as well as the controversial land redistribution programme dispossessing white farmers. - AFP
MORE NEWS HOME