As a firm specializing in market research and data analysis through surveys, feasibility studies, polls, among others, we hope to bring valuable insights through today’s article as we focus on how both corporates and individuals can survive in an inflationary environment. We certainly are going through some rough patches in our lives but we must never fold and neither must we allow inflation to beat us.
Why so high?
Through its report titled, Consumer Price Index July 2022, the national researcher, Statistics Botswana, reported that, ‘the annual inflation rate was 14.3 percent in July 2022, as opposed to 12.7 percent in June 2022, registering a rise of 1.6 percentage points. Contributing significantly to the annual inflation rate in July 2022 were the increasing prices for the major components in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket, especially Transport (9.2 percent), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.7 percent), …’ We all know that the inflation is being fuelled by mainly, fuel price hikes following sanctions imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine. Research shows that Russia is such a big economy such that if it coughs, the world catches a flu.
Well, you may be asking yourself what a research firm has to do with inflation. There are three reasons for this. The first one is that Statistics Botswana is a research parastatal and any information it publishes such as on inflation is key in decision-making. Secondly, when a business or an individual is in a precarious situation like we find ourselves in due to inflation, they have to look for options to stay afloat. That process of looking for options is in fact research. Lastly, we need to understand why inflation is so high and we can only get the reasons through searching on the web; we call that research. Now, let’s turn to survival tactics.
It is time that every business and individual check their budgets and spending to eliminate unnecessary costs. Luxuries such as holidays, parties and employee wellness activities can be put on hold without affecting much.
Reduce on debts
This is not the right time to accumulate debt as interest rates are likely to go up as inflation rises. So, you better either maintain or forego any unnecessary debt, except if it is for developmental purposes. You may also have to avoid long-term debt commitments such as mortgages and probably build property bit by bit as your interest bill will certainly go up as inflation rises. The Bank of Botswana recently increased the monetary policy rate by 50 basis points to reduce demand and that simply translates to higher interest bills.
It is advisable for businesses and individuals to invest in appreciating assets which also increase in value as inflation rises such as immovable property. This may not be the best time to buy luxuries such as expensive cars as chances of sinking in debt are high.
If you have not been saving, you need to immediately start doing so as you do not know whether your employer or business will be able to stay afloat should inflation reach highs of say 30 percent. If possible, make your savings in hard currencies such as the US dollar.
It’s all about research
We obviously cannot give you all the solutions you need to survive these tubulous times but you need to introspect and review your life or business and find other solutions. If you didn’t know, that process of analysing data and trends is called research, by the way!
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