Sunday Mail Reporter
PRICES of basic goods have remained stable for the past five weeks despite the local currency’s slide against the greenback since the forex auction system began on June 23.
A snap survey by The Sunday Mail showed that basic commodities such as cooking oil and sugar are now available in most retail supermarkets, with prices remaining stable in the past four weeks.
A 2-litre bottle of cooking oil has maintained its price at $245 over the past four weeks, while a 2kg packet of sugar is going for $214. Prices of bathing soap remained unchanged at $79, while a 2kg packet of rice is still pegged at $255.
Powder washing soap is selling for $182, while a laundry bar is going for $100 and a kilogramme of beef is retailing at $225.
Stabilising prices have been attributed to the recently introduced foreign currency auction system.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya believes that the narrowing of the bid band is an indication that the rate is moving towards stability.
Monetary authorities say price stability would ultimately lead to low inflation.
“So with the spread narrowing, we are very pleased with that,” said Dr Mangudya last week. He also said the rate was moving towards stability. The exchange rate between the local unit and the US dollar eased to $76,7 at Tuesday’s auction.
Last week’s highest bid of $82 was the lowest since the auction began, and an 18 percent decline from the highest bid rate of $100 on the first day of auctions on June 23, while the lowest accepted bid rate was $75, up from $70 a week earlier.