Zimbabwe’s inflation is anybody’s guess

DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images Back in June, the Zimbabwean dollar topped our list of the World’s Worst Currencies with a staggering 3,714 percent inflation rate, which was a moving target at the time. Since then, the situation has not exactly improved. Now, the chief statistician of Robert Mugabe’s government says that he can no longer even ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
597980_071127_zimbabwe_05.jpg
597980_071127_zimbabwe_05.jpg

DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images

Back in June, the Zimbabwean dollar topped our list of the World's Worst Currencies with a staggering 3,714 percent inflation rate, which was a moving target at the time. Since then, the situation has not exactly improved. Now, the chief statistician of Robert Mugabe's government says that he can no longer even calculate the country's inflation rate because there are too few goods available on store shelves. The official rate was 8,000 percent back in September; the IMF estimates that it could hit 10,000 percent by the end of the year. 

The BBC's straightforward, if somewhat unnecessary, explanation for the shortages only highlights the absurdity of Zimbabwe's economic predicament:

DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images

Back in June, the Zimbabwean dollar topped our list of the World’s Worst Currencies with a staggering 3,714 percent inflation rate, which was a moving target at the time. Since then, the situation has not exactly improved. Now, the chief statistician of Robert Mugabe’s government says that he can no longer even calculate the country’s inflation rate because there are too few goods available on store shelves. The official rate was 8,000 percent back in September; the IMF estimates that it could hit 10,000 percent by the end of the year. 

The BBC’s straightforward, if somewhat unnecessary, explanation for the shortages only highlights the absurdity of Zimbabwe’s economic predicament:

Maize meal, bread, meat, cooking oil, sugar and other basic goods used to measure inflation largely disappeared from shops after Robert Mugabe’s government ordered prices to be slashed.

Manufacturers have said they cannot afford to sell goods at below the cost of producing them.

 I guess that sorta makes sense.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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