By Own Correspondent
A family of six now requires ZWL198 264 to meet monthly consumption needs despite the fact most workers' earnings are still way below the cost of living. however, the figure is unrealistic considering that prices of basics rose sharply in April in local currency as the zimdollar plumetted against the US dollar on the parallel market.
The latest data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) revealed a sharp increase in the cost of living.
“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for Zimbabwe stood at $33,044.46 per person in April 2023. This means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at April 2023 in order not to be deemed poor.
“This represents an increase of 11.0 percent when compared to the March 2023 figure of $29,778.08,” said Zimstat.
If an individual does not consume more than the TCPL, he or she is deemed poor.
The poverty datum lines vary by province as prices vary from place to place. The differences are explained by differences in average prices in the provinces.
The quantities of commodities consumed at base year in the minimum needs basket which is consistent with the preferences of the poor individuals and households in Zimbabwe are fixed. The variations in the value of the basket are explained by changes in average prices.
“The Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in April 2023 was $25,170.00. This means that the minimum needs basket cost that much per person in April 2023. This represents an increase of 11.6 percent over the March 2023 figure of $22,560.53,” said Zimstat.
However, the current figures come at a time when the majority of the country’s workforce is earning salaries which are way below the cost of living with the majority going for months on end without consistently receiving their salaries.
What worsens the situation is that 70% of the country’s transactions are conducted in US$ which most employers are declining to pay in salaries.