ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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SOUTHERN AFRICA-Different Lines, Different Goals

for the other items in the consumer price index remained constant, even then, the impact of increase in the prices of food articles on the consumer price index would have been higher than has been shown in the figures of consumer price index as will be seen from Table 3. On the basis of estimated increase calculated in Table 3, the consumer price index should have gone up to 292, 294 and 297 for the months of April, May and Juno 1976 only on account of the rise in the prices of food articles and if the rise in the prices of raw materials and manufacturers is also accounted for, the figure of the consumer price index for these months should have been further higher. This raises doubts that the compilation of the consumer price index is done on the basis of actual prices prevailing in the open market. In fact, the figures of the consumer price index would be higher than those estimated on the basis of the rise in the wholesale prices because retailers add a bigger margin than that kept by a wholesaler. For items like wheat, sugar and rice, the fixed prices at the fair price shops can be collected but the workers have repre- sented that the fair price shops do not meet their full requirements and as such, to meet the gap, they have to buy from the retail shops in the open market. If the actual prices prevailing in the retail market are collected, there is no reason why the consumer price index should have moved so tamely by only one point every month during the quarter ended June 1976.

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