In delivering his 2006 budget last week, Zimbabwean Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced the elimination of price controls. Since the announcement, prices of washing powder, milk, sugar and rise have risen by a third to two thirds, alarming consumers already feeling the impact of annual inflation rate over 400%.
Mr. Murerwa said he was abolishing price controls to reduce pressure on companies and help bring more goods into the marketplace to relieve shortages. It remains to be seen if his strategy will work, but one Zimbabwean economist says it should.
Economist John Robertson of Harare told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that although prices did surge after Mr. Murerwa’s announcement, they should fall or stabilize soon, and domestic-made products should be easier to find.