Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube has said that prices in RTGS$ are grossly inflated because, in USD he said, prices have generally fallen.
The minister tweeted a table his ministry has prepared to back his point. The table shows the USD prices in shops in January 2018 compared to those in June 2019. The average price decline, Ncube said, is 19%.
Prices for basic goods in the consumption basket in Zimbabwe have dropped by an average of 19% in US$ terms, from January 2018 to June 2019. See table below from Treasury. The prices in RTGS$ terms are therefore grossly inflated.
Zimbabwe has experienced a rapid increased in prices of basic commodities in shops in recent months following the loss of value of the RTGS$ against the US dollar.
The parallel market exchange rate of the RTGS$ against the USD is now 12:1. In February, when the government introduced the RTGS$ it was around5:1 on the street.
The government has however accused businesses of taking the opportunity of the falling RTGS$ value to profiteer.
Following his tweet, MDC politician, Fadzayi Mahere commented:
Teachers now earn US$29. Going by your schedule, a tin of Jam costs US$3. This means a teacher can’t afford 10 tins of Sun Jam. They can only buy 9 (US$27). Accordingly, a Zimbabwean teacher earns the equivalent of 9 tins of jam & 2 cans of beans (US$2). Let that sink in.