Zimbabwe’s inflation quickens two months after new price measure

Zimbabwe’s inflation quickens two months after new price measure

By Bloomberg News

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate climbed for the first time since the recent adoption of a new price measure that reflects the widespread use of US dollars for transactions in the economy.

Consumer prices rose 21.6% in November from 17.8%, a month earlier, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency said Monday in an online briefing, without stating the reasons for the uptick. A 2 US cents per kilowatt hour increase in power tariffs last month likely contributed.

The country revised its inflation measure for the second time this year on Sept. 28. Its previous revision took place in February. Both led to a sharp drop in the inflation rate.

Monthly inflation also quickened to 4.5%, breaching the central bank’s 3% target for this year.

The new methodology combines price changes of goods and services in the greenback and Zimbabwean dollar, the statistics agency said.

Soon after the methodology change the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy committee cut the benchmark interest rate to 130% from 150%, ceding its unenviable position of having the world’s highest interest rate to Argentina.