Image: The Herald

Some florists have reported low business this Valentine’s Day in Harare as economy continues on the downward spiral.

However, some attributed the low business to fact that women are supposed to be buying presents for their men this leap year.

“Women are not buying flowers at the same rate men usually do,” one florist told state daily, The Herald.

Apparently, the country’s economy has continued on the downward spiral. This is forcing many to adjust their priorities and spending patterns.

According to USAID funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, in January 2024, households, mainly in typical deficit-producing areas, were increasingly engaging in coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes since access to income for market purchases is constrained as the lean season begins to peak.

The Network said communal parts of the surplus-producing areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to limited household stocks and access to income for market purchases but are generally meeting their basic food needs.

Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes persist in some productive surplus-producing resettlement areas in the north due to the availability of own-produced 2023 stocks and limited income from crop sales and casual labor.

“In January, the ZWL devalued by around 50 percent on the official and parallel markets, the steepest drop since June 2023. The devaluation has driven significant increases in basic food and other commodity prices. Above-normal USD price increases, over 30 percent for some commodities, have also been recorded, partly in response to additional tax measures and increasing production and transportation costs. In January 2024, ZIMSTAT reported that headline annual inflation increased to 34.8 percent, with the ZWL cost of living also rising by around 45 percent in the last month and by about 595 percent compared to January 2023.

“The devaluation of the ZWL and rapid increase in the cost of living is expected to particularly impact households earning in ZWL, with the rise in USD prices also negatively impacting household purchasing power as the lean season peaks,” said FEW.