Harare – There was a jump in the Total Consumption Poverty Line for a family of five in August which was in line with a jump in inflation in August of 8.44%. Figures from Zimstat show that the TCPL or Poverty Datum Line for a family of five was at $17,244 from $15,573 in July.

The poverty line is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living, in other words, having insufficient income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health.

The PDL stood at $3,449 per person from $3,115, a 8.5% jump which is in line with August month on month inflation. This means that Zimbabwean’s lived on an average of US$0.99 per day (based on the parallel market rate at the end of August), which is a slight improvement from US$0.72 but below the World’s Bank international Poverty Line of US$1.90 a day and still significantly below the US$3.20 standard for middle income countries and US$5.50 for upper middle income countries.

Generally, consumption is the preferred welfare indicator for a number of reasons. Income is generally more difficult to measure accurately. For example, the poor who work in the informal sector may not receive or report monetary wages; self-employed workers often experience irregular income flows; and many people in rural areas depend on agricultural incomes. Moreover, consumption accords better with the idea of the standard of living than income, which can vary over time even if the actual standard of living does not.

The food poverty line (FPL) as at June 2020 stood at $1,442 for one person. This means that the minimum needs basket cost that much per person in August 2020. This represents an increase of 10.7% over the July 2020 figure of $1,329. The June 2020 FPL for an average of five persons in Zimbabwe stood at $7,211. This represented an increase of 10.7% when compared to the July 2020 figure of $15,573.


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