Shops Urged To Reduce Prices As Exchange Rates Stabilise
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Denford Mutashu has urged businesses to reduce prices in Zimbabwe dollars after the local unit recovered against the US dollar last week.
The Zim dollar on Thursday firmed by more than $1 000 against the United States dollar on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s Wholesale Foreign Exchange Auction following another gain on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the local currency firmed against the US dollar to ZWL$6 326, from ZWL$6 926 on 20 June.
Speaking in an interview with State media, Mutashu said shops should start pricing responsibly following the stability in the exchange rate and improved power supply. He said:
The expectation is to begin to see prices falling in line with key economic indicators like stability in exchange rates, improved power supply and other Government measures.
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We have seen price stability in most retail shops but we want to see more. We want to see them reducing prices relative to economic developments. They should start pricing responsibly.
National University and Science and Technology (NUST) lecturer Stevenson Dlamini said although businesses haven’t reduced prices, the rate at which prices were going up had slowed down lately.
He added that recent fiscal and monetary measures were starting to bear fruit. Said Dlamini:
The floating of the exchange rate on the wholesale market has destabilised the parallel market and shown the formal market that the Government is now more committed to the price discovery mechanism of the local currency.
This has been further buttressed by the recent fiscal policy measure that requires the payment of corporate tax in local currency.
This is forcing even firms that were beginning to reject the local currency to start demanding it at the official market exchange rate and thus pushing up the demand and value of the local currency.
Among the measures introduced by authorities include the RBZ’s sale of foreign currency to banks at market-determined rates for on-selling to bank customers.
The central bank has introduced gold coins and gold-backed tokens which have mopped over ZWL$60 billion.
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