June inflation quickened to 0.6 % month-on-month

HARARE – Zimbabwe's inflation quickened to 0.6 percent month-on-month in June from -1.0 percent in May, the Central Statistical Office said on Monday.

The CSO, which resumed calculating inflation figures in December, having last released data for July 2008, did not give year-on-year statistics.

Zimbabwe’s new unity government, formed by rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February, has adopted the use of multiple currencies to stop hyperinflation, which rendered the country’s currency worthless.

The CSO attributed the increase in inflation to rising prices of alcoholic beverages and non-food items, such as transport, health and education costs.

"The month-on-month non-food inflation stood at 1.45 percent, gaining 2.5 percentage points on the May rate of -1.05 percent," the CSO said.

Zimbabwe’s monthly inflation had, since January, been in negative territory.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti last week said the country was still experiencing inflationary pressures from public utility and municipal tariffs, as well as low production levels, which averaged 30 percent of total capacity.

The CSO last year stopped releasing inflation data when the July figure reached 231 million percent. Independent economists say the figure had topped 500 billion by December 2008.