Inflation almost 600%

HARARE - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate soared to 585.8 percent in December from 502.4 percent in November, according to official data. But for 2005 as a whole, the consumer price index rose by an average 182 percent, slowing sharply from 350 percent in 2004, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) s

aid. Zimbabwe has suffered rampaging inflation and six years of recession. Severe shortages of foreign currency, fuel and food have been widely blamed on government mismanagement. Price pressures have been fuelled by a sliding Zimbabwe dollar, which has dramatically boosted the cost of imports. Prices for bicycles – a growing form of transport after chronic fuel shortages grounded many vehicles – rose by an annual rate of more than 2,000 percent.

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