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Price hike double-blow to hit Zimbabwe over Christmas

Tafadzwa Mutsika

 As the year 2021 comes to an end consumers are facing a double financial blow over the December holiday period as steep price increases and growing inflation take effect.

The country’s latest LP Gas price increase, which took effect on 07 December 2021, has been followed by increase in price of other basic commodities.

The consumers are always on the receiving end as the increase in prices  affects them  every festive season while the firms maximize their sales and profits

In a survey conducted by Zimbabwe voice prices of groceries has almost doubled since the beginning of the festive seasons.

In an interview with customers in the capital city Harare customers have no kind words to retailers who are taking advantage of the festive season to increase prices

 “We are taking as much pain as we can. Each month is worse than the previous one, and this comes at a time of other increased costs such as the recent increase in LP Gas, which makes energy more expensive as you know there is load shading, we spend day without electricity.

Economist Mike Munyaradzi said these new increases will add to inflationary pressure – a double-blow for Zimbabweans over the expensive holiday season.

“Notwithstanding the costs to the average commuter, we know that a lot of goods need to be transported long distances which will reflect in higher prices at the till points,” he said.

“These inflationary pressures could force ZERA to increase fuel price. This is coming at an unfortunate time for Zimbabwe.”

Compounding matters for  Zimbabwe commuters, is a weak domestic currency, which adds to the pain created by a global rise in fuel costs on the back of geopolitical and supply issues, he said.

Zimbabwe energy price increases feed directly into rising food and transportation costs, both of which will have an impact on consumers over the holidays.

The fuel price increase comes against the backdrop of a sharp increase in input costs mainly fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides, driven by a combination of beginning of the agriculture season and festive season.

“This is obviously not good news from an agriculture perspective given the already high input costs.

“Increased activity in terms of planting, transportation of production inputs, distribution of produce as in the case of horticulture and livestock, as well as harvesting will attract additional costs which will negatively impact the profit outlook for farmers in the year ahead, despite the current strength in commodity prices.” he said

This year, it is a difficult year different as some diasporans are pondering whether or not come back home during the festive season because of the new Covid-19 induced regulations aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

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