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Zimbabwe Cost Of Living Spikes As The Local Currency Slips

The cost of living in Zimbabwe has gone up with the Total Consumption Poverty Line rising by 4.8% in September which means that it now costs ZWL$ 95,462.53 ( equivalent to US$ 17.7) for a person to meet their basic needs.

This increase is mainly due to the Zimbabwean dollar losing value compared to the US dollar, causing prices to continuously rise. During the period under review, the Zimbabwe dollar depreciated by around 18% and 23% on official and parallel foreign currency markets respectively against the US dollar since last month. On August 22, a day before the general elections, the official forex rate stood at US$1: ZWL$ 4 568.38 while the parallel rate was US$1:ZWL$ 6 500. But as of Tuesday the 10th day of October, the local currency was trading at US$1:ZWL$ 5 594.3774 while the parallel market rate was US$1:ZWL$ 7 500. Thus, as a result to preserve value, businesses and service providers are adjusting their prices to keep up with the currency`s decline.

The Food Poverty Line (FPL) in September 2023 rose by 3.9% to ZWL$ 73,235,85 from ZWL$ 70,460.81 in August 2023. The Total Consumption Poverty Line for Zimbabwe was ZWL$ 95,462.53 per person in September 2023 representing an increase of 4,8% when compared to the August 2023 figure of ZWL$ 91,063.30.

The major drivers of the September 2023 month-on-month inflation rate of 1,0% were food and non-alcoholic beverages (0,33%), education (0,25%) and communication (0,15%). Zimstat also noted a change in the method of calculating inflation, from using arithmetic aggregation to using geometric aggregation method due to 80% of transactions being in US dollars while the rest was in local currency.

Inflation rate of the month of September 2023 rose by 2,3% percentage points from -1,3% in August 2023 to current 1,0%.The rise implies that prices, as measured by the All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased by an average of 1,0%  between August 2023 and September 2023. Looking at the year-on-year inflation rate, prices as measured by all-items CPI increased by an average of 18,4% between September 2022 and September 2023.

ZimStat also announced that the consumer price index was 100,95 in September 2023, 100 in August and 85,29 in September 2022.The CPI for education had the highest month-on-month inflation rate of 6,0% followed by communication at 5,8%.

The government took several measures to tackle inflation and stabilize the macroeconomy and Zimbabwean dollar including reducing the amount of the money available in the economy and making fees and taxes payable in the local currency. These measures initially helped slow down the rate of inflation for a few months. However, recently, the value of the Zimbabwean dollar has started to decrease again compared to the US dollars.


Food Poverty Line (FPL)/person

Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL)/person


ZWL$ 22,384.78

ZWL$ 24,499.89


ZWL$ 22,386.43

ZWL$ 29,562.94


ZWL$ 22,560.53

ZWL$ 29,778.08


ZWL$ 25,170.00

ZWL$ 33,044.46


ZWL$ 30,108,94

ZWL$ 39,927.46


ZWL$ 69,941.05

ZWL$ 91,171.62


ZWL$ 77,186.03

ZWL$ 99,545.95


ZWL$ 70,460.81

ZWL$ 91,063.30


ZWL$ 73,235.85

ZWL$ 95,462.53

The exchange rate results :