Prices of goods and services have escalated over the past few weeks with most consumers unable to afford the bare basics.

The Chronicle reports that in Bulawayo, prices of some basic commodities have been increased by up to 100 per cent. The report says:

A two-litre bottle of cooking oil, which was selling at around $28, has increased to $35.

The price of a 10kg bag of mealie-meal has been increased from $27 to about $68 but most supermarkets do not have the mealie-meal.

The price of a loaf of bread has also gone up from $6,90 to $9 while that of 1kg of salt has gone up from $4 to $7.

The price of a 1kg packet of Cremora has gone up from $40 to $50 and that of a packet of 2kg rice has increased from $20 to $25.

The price increases have been attributed to the fall in the value of the Zimbabwe dollar on the formal interbank market, with retailers trying to keep pace. Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu had this to say:

While we remain positive and optimistic that the prices will stabilise, there is a need to provide all the required information.

Month-on-month and year-on-year inflation figures are important for planning purposes.

Mutashu said that there is a need to ensure uninterrupted power supplies to enable manufacturers to be productive rather than paying idle workers.

Some consumers have urged the government to control prices before the situation spirals out of control.