Astronomical inflation in Zimbabwe

Gretchen Wilson Aug 23, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: If you think we have problems here, try buying a soda in Zimbabwe. You’ll need a suitcase full of money, and I’m not exaggerating. Gretchen Wilson has the latest inflation numbers from Zimbabwe.


Gretchen Wilson: In the first official figures in three months, Zimbabwe’s Central Statistical Office says inflation has more than doubled since May.

We’re not talking a few percentage points here. Authorities say the annual inflation jumped to 7,635 percent in July. But economists say the true inflation rate is actually far higher — at least in the five-figures.

This means cash earned a year ago and saved under a mattress is beyond worthless. Stacks of bills are needed for the most basic transaction.

A bottle of Coke, which is hard enough to find on the shelves of Harare, today costs $65,000.

The International Monetary Fund warns annual inflation could reach 100,000 percent by the end of the year.

Last month, the country launched a new 200,000 Zimbabwe dollar bill. It’s value on the street? One U.S. dollar.

In Johannesburg, I’m Gretchen Wilson for Marketplace.

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