Posted: 6/5/2008 1:57:09 PM EDT
When Zimbabwe is not busy entertaining our ambassadors I guess that they all go shopping. I wonder what gas costs there.
Zimbabwe's currency crashes, prices rocket
Nelson Banya | Harare, Zimbabwe
05 June 2008 01:16
Zimbabwe's currency plunged to a new record low on Thursday, trading at an average one billion to the US dollar on a recently introduced interbank market and triggering massive price increases.
Traders were quoting the Zimbabwean dollar at between 995-million and 1,45-billion against the greenback in Thursday morning trade, up from an average 700-million at the beginning of the week. The currency has depreciated by about 84% since the central bank effectively floated it in early May after years of an official peg.
Analysts said the rapid weakening of the currency was being driven by inflation expectations as well as huge demand for hard currencies.
"The exchange rate is being driven by massive demand for forex, as well as the desire to hedge against inflation," said Mudzingwa Nhiwatiwa, a research analyst at ZABG banking group.
"It shows our forex generating capacity is perilously low. Until we restore production and exports, the Zimbabwean dollar will continue to depreciate sharply."
Zimbabwe's production capacity, largely based on agriculture, has declined sharply mainly due to upheavals on commercial farms following President Robert Mugabe's drive to seize land from whites to resettle landless black Zimbabweans.
Prices of basic goods, most of which are now imported, have gone up sharply since the disputed March 29 election in which Mugabe's Zanu-PF lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in 28 years.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai also beat Mugabe in the presidential election, but not by enough votes to avoid a run-off ballot, set for June 27.
Nhiwatiwa said the freeing up of the exchange rate system in the absence of improved production and amid uncertainty over the unresolved election stalemate, had seen prices rising sharply.
For instance, a loaf of bread, which cost about Z$15-million before the polls, now costs about Z$600-million.
A two-litre bottle of cooking oil costs about Z$5-billion, almost equal to an average low-income worker's monthly wage, piling the misery on a country also grappling with food, fuel, water and electricity shortages, 80% unemployment and hyperinflation.
Official figures put Zimbabwe's annual inflation -- the highest in the world -- at 165 000% in February, but analysts say the figure vaulted as high as 1,8-million percent by May.
Prices on Zimbabwe's stock market, for long a refuge for investors in the inflation-ravaged country, have rocketed since the beginning of the year.
The benchmark Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) industrial index leapt to a new high above 900-billion points on Wednesday, from just over 1,2-billion points at the start of the year.
Critics blame Mugabe's policy for the economic crisis, but he denies the charge, and says the economy has been undermined by Western governments plotting to oust him as punishment for his land reforms. - Reuters 2008
I'm making a fortune shorting the Zimbabwe currency!
I know it's not a polite thought, but I hope those fucking animals all starve to death.
Talk about reaping what you sow.
What is the difference between zimbabwe and the obammanation? About 10 years.
I work with a guy from South Africa/Nambia when he was younger he went to school in Zimbabwe and said they used to make fun of the other countries and their quality of life.
He enjoys seeing that place become a shithole
I always wondered what happens if a guy were to trade in a few bucks on a few billion in some failing currency, then hold that currency until things turned around somewhat.
Is it more likely that the currency will regain value and make that man rich, or that the currency will be replaced with a less inflated system and become useless itself?
Zim currency has an expiration date. You can't just hold it.