HARARE,– Zimbabwe’s consumer price index sank further into negative territory in September after shedding 0.34 percentage points on the August rate of -2.77 percent to -3.11 percent, the national statistics agency said on Thursday.
Authorities have said slowing price increases were a self-correction of the overvalued United States dollar — Zimbabwe’s primary currency since 2009 when it abandoned its inflation-ravaged local unit. However, analysts note that the economy is starved of foreign credit and that the country has no balance of payment support while interest rates that often reach above 20 percent per annum means there is no stimulus for economic activity.
The country has an estimated unemployment rate of over 90 percent while falling household incomes have curtailed expenditure and analysts have warned that the economy could slip into depression this year.
On a month-on-month basis, prices declined by 0.36 percent in September, following a 0.31 percent fall in August, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat).