|Zimbabwe May Consumer Prices Drop|| || || |
HARARE - Zimbabwe's consumer prices fell for the fifth month in a row in May, declining 1.0 percent month-on-month compared to a 1.1 percent fall in April, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said on Wednesday.
The CSO has not released an annual figure since January when the southern African nation allowed use of multiple currencies.
This has brought relief to consumers and helped snuff out what had become the world's highest inflation rate, which hit 231 million percent last year in June.
Prices have stabilised and basic goods are available in shops, but most Zimbabweans continue to endure hardships because salaries are very low. The government is broke and only pays workers a monthly allowance of $100.
Consumer rights groups say an average family of five people needs $469 to survive through the month.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who formed a unity government with President Robert Mugabe in February, has been touring Europe and America to drum up financial support for the new Harare administration.
Western donors, who accuse Mugabe of years of misrule and largely shun the 85-year-old leader, have said direct aid to the government would only flow when there are tangible signs of political and economic reforms.
Some aid has started to trickle into agencies, bypassing the government. Germany pledged 25 million euros for Zimbabwe on Monday and U.S. President Barack Obama promised last $73 million to help fight AIDS and good governance. Reuters