Friday, July 18, 2008
Zimbabwe is to introduce a bank-note worth Z$100bn in response to rampant inflation – but the note will barely cover the cost of a loaf of bread.
Some Zimbabweans are already calling for higher denominations in a country where the official annual inflation rate has exceeded 2,200,000%.
Independent economists believe the real rate is many times higher.
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Zimbabwe’s meltdown has left at least 80% of the population in poverty, facing mass shortages of basic goods.
The country’s central bank has introduced several new notes already this year in response to the hyperinflation.
In January, a Z$10 million note was issued, followed by a Z$50 million. By June the denominations had reached tens of billions.
In a notice in the state-controlled Herald newspaper, central bank governor Gideon Gono said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would introduce the new notes – known as special agro-cheques – to help consumers.
“This new $100 billion special agro-cheque will go into circulation on Monday,” the notice said.
But Zimbabwe residents say the latest note is already worthless, and does not even cover their daily lunch.