Inflation rockets to 355,000%

HARARE - Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation for the month of March rose to a new record of to 355 000% from the February figure of 165 000% as prices rose on the back of increased money supply to finance the 2008 harmonised elections.Prior to this, prices used to double once a month, then they doubled twice a month and now they are doubling every week.

The CSO last released inflation figures in January when the year-on-year rate was 100 580,2%. Prior to that, the year on year inflation rate for December was 66 212,3%.No figures were provided for month-on-month inflation figures for March nor for money supply growth since December last year.”They are still busy doing that,” the official said. “When they come up with a new basket, they are told to dump certain products and substitute them with cheaper ones. However, they will soon run out of cheaper products to use.”
The CSO acting director, Moffat Nyoni, confirmed that the CSO had been having difficulty in coming up with a stable consumer basket.The figures come at a time the RBZ has introduced higher denomination bearer cheques to counter the adverse effects of inflation.The central bank introduced the $500 million bearer cheques for the public and the $5 billion, $25 billion, $50 billion agro-cheques for farmers. The new notes come hardly two weeks after the introduction of the $250 million bearer cheques Nyoni said the CSO had not computed substantive inflation data for the months of February, March and April owing to these challenges.

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