As Zimbabweans grapple with the rationale behind using Blended CPI Inflation, ZimStat reported that inflation further declined in March 2023. Year-on-year inflation reduced to 87.6% while month-on-month inflation increased from -1.6% to 0.1%. Attempts to collect past data for blended CPI yielded only partial results so we are unable to compare current inflation data with past inflation data to identify trends. This is compounded by the fact that ZimStat no longer reports Zimbabwean dollar CPI inflation figures.

Year on year

The Blended CPI year-on-year inflation for March was 87.6%. This was a significant reduction from 92.3% the previous month. In our graph, the figures prior to February 2023 are in Zimbabwean dollar CPI terms so they are not comparable. What is clear however is that inflation in Zimbabwe has been on the decline for the last 6 months using either CPI basis.

zimbabwe inflation year on year March 2023

Month on Month

Month on Month inflation for March increased from -1.6% to 0.1%. While 0.1% isn’t much an increase of 1.7% is significant. It is important to remember that we are comparing Blended CPI inflation here and in Blended CPI that’s a big jump. That said the job of lowering inflation has been well done. Month on month has significantly dropped since the middle of 2022 in Zimbabwean dollar CPI terms.

zimbabwe inflation month on month March 2023

The Minister of Finance set ambitious inflation targets in the 2023 National Budget presented late last year. It will be interesting to see if those targets will be revised accordingly as we have switched our inflation reporting basis or if we will continue as though nothing has changed. It would obviously be to the advantage of authorities because Blended CPI inflation comes in lower because of the dominance of US dollar pricing in Blended CPI.

In spite of all objections and pontificating by the public and industry it seems unwise to expect a turnaround in the policy, which has been instituted into law. It would be great if Zimstat would furnish all historical Blended CPI data from July 2021 to allow us to compare the information through time.