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Zimbabwe Seen Hitting 2011 Consumer Inflation Target of 4.5 Percent

Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch said that barring a major surprise, Zimbabwean inflation is well on target

Economists are optimistic Zimbabwe will achieve its 2011 inflation target of 4.5 percent following encouraging price data for October which eased fears of a surge caused by restoration of import duties on key commodities and end-of-year pressures.

Consumer inflation for the 12 months through October eased to 4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in September. The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency said prices rose just 0.1 percent in October, considerably less than in September.

Economist Eric Bloch said that barring a major surprise inflation is well on target.

“If there is a sudden dramatic movement of the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar impacting the South African rand that will raise the inflation rate, though the likelihood is that (Finance Minister) Tendai Biti’s targets are going to be achieved,” Bloch said.

There was a new round of price increases in November as retailers increased the prices of maize meal, sugar and other commodities. Meat prices have also been rising.