Zimbabwe’s inflation rate crosses 1,000-percent threshold

HARARE, May 12, 2006 (AFP) – Zimbabwe said on Friday its inflation rate had crossed the landmark 1,000-percent threshold, arguably the highest in the world, with economists expressing pessimism about any major improvement soon. The Central Statistical Office said the year-on-year inflation rate in April was 1,042.9 percent, up 129.3 percentage points from March, in an economy considered to be shrinking faster than that of any other country in the world not at war.

“This means that on average goods and services normally purchased by households for final use in Zimbabwe were about 11 times as expensive in April 2006 as they had been 12 months before,” Moffat Nyoni, the CSO’s acting director, told a news conference.

“A bundle of goods and services that cost 100,000 Zimbabwean dollars in April 2005 would on average cost 1,142,900 dollars in April 2006,” he said.

The announcement from the CSO had been expected two days earlier but had been delayed.

The latest inflation rate, the highest in the world according to some economists, deals a blow to efforts by the central bank to slash inflation to a double-digit level next year.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono forecast in January that inflation, referre