PDL for July at $495: Zimstat

IMF-headquartersBusiness Editor
The National Food Poverty Line for July as measured by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency stood at $31,41 per person, a marginal increase of 0,1 percent over the June figure of $31,39.

According to the latest data from Zimstat using the Food Poverty Line, an average person lived on $1,01 per day in July. The Total Consumption Poverty Line for one person stood at $99 in July from $98,96 in the previous month meaning an average person survived on $3,19 per day in Zimbabwe.

The poverty line is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living. The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms and extreme poverty as living on less than $1,25 per day and moderate poverty as less than $2 a day.

The TCPL figures further confirm the International Monetary Fund’s position that Zimbabwe does not qualify for debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative because it is not poor enough.

Generally, according to analysts consumption is the preferred welfare indicator for a number of reasons.

“Income is generally more difficult to measure accurately. For example, the poor who work in the informal sector may not receive or report monetary wages; self-employed workers often experience irregular income flows; and many people in rural areas depend on agricultural incomes.

“Moreover, consumption accords better with the idea of the standard of living than income, which can vary over time even if the actual standard of living does not,” according to research from a local firm.

The country’s poverty datum line for July for an average family stood at $495,12, an increase of 0,13 percent from the June figure of $494,81. This means that an average household of five persons requires that much to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor.

The FPL for five persons stood at $157,03 from $156,94 in June.

The total consumption poverty line (TCPL) for an average household in the period ranged from $439 in Midlands to $583 in Matabeleland North. Zimstat says this is explained by the differences in average prices in the provinces.

No details of the items included in the index are provided in the Zimstat figures, but the differences in costs between different parts of the country are shown. Compared to $$494,81, the average cost for the basic requirements for a family of five for the whole country, the figure for Harare is $494,08, for Bulawayo $506,59, for Masvingo $500,26 and for Manicaland $510,42.

The highest figure for the country is Matabeleland North at $582,90, followed by Mat South at $560,42 and the lowest is Midlands at $438,92.

The International Labour Organisation recommends that the PDL should be used as a benchmark or reference point in determining minimum wages.

Most sectors such as the banking industry earn above the TCPL. ZIBAWU assistant general secretary Mr Shepherd Ngandu said the lowest paid employee is getting $633,00.

“The least paid employee in the banking industry is getting $633,00 and then the average salary in the industry is around $750,00.”