The inflation rate according to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) website has been increasing from where it began at the beginning of the year; however, no one needed to pass that information to a 67-year-old pensioner who decided to stop and converse with PSA media outside a supermarket on the Southern Main Road in Central today.
The woman who gave her name only as Patricia when asked about the rising food prices sighed and said, “It is terrible and has been getting worse over the past four months.” She said an elderly woman who she had just met inside the supermarket was just speaking to her about the food prices in the establishment and she had to tell her, “Just pick up what you can because we cannot eat the money.”
Upon showing the basic items that she had bought which consisted of rice, flour, oil, peas, and some cleaning supplies, she said, “These used to cost me about 400 dollars and 300 before that but now it reaches 600 dollars, and this is without any meats.” She admitted that her spending habits had changed because she no longer bought meat at the supermarket but preferred to do so at wholesale dealers elsewhere. She indicated that it was a longer hassle but one she had no choice but to bear and because she does not have a vehicle and has to utilise public transportation she said she hopes that taxi fares on the roadway that she frequents do not raise as has happened elsewhere. She pointed out though, “It is inevitable, once one raises their fare, they all do eventually.”
However, Patricia confessed that she was thankful for the 3500 dollars, but said that she worried for other elderly persons who had to buy medication or even take care of grandchildren from that income. Speaking about herself she admitted that the old-age pension was her only form of income but said, “Well my money is simply to pay rent and buy groceries and thank god for that.” She later said that rent was 900 dollars. Patricia in conversing also pointed out that while she does not have any persistent ailments, now and then she has to buy medication for a heart condition that she has. The grandmother of 13 noted that one of the things she cannot do these days is to give her younger grandkids money to splurge on and said that is her biggest regret since the money she has will only carry her month to month.
According to the information contained on the Central Statistical Website, the last recorded inflation rate in July of this year stands at 1.3 percent. The information presented also stated, “The index of retail prices is a weighted average of the proportionate changes in the prices of a specified set or basket of consumer goods and services between the periods.”
On the chart for the last three months in 2020, the inflation rate stood at 0.6 percent but was increased the following year in January and throughout April this year, it remained steady at 0.9 percent. In May it was increased to 1.0 percent which also went up to 1.1 percent in June and 1.3 in July when the CSO data ended on the website.
The question every economist is asking and every householder already knows with their basket: “What will the inflation rate be when the CSO releases their next figures for August and September etc?