Zimbabwe inflation rockets to 66 000%

Zimbabwe’s annualised inflation rate rose to a record 66 212,3% in December, dealing another blow to President Robert Mugabe’s efforts to pull the once prosperous African nation’s economy out of a deep crisis.

Mugabe has made the battle against inflation the cornerstone of his government’s effort to reverse an economic slide that many people blame on mismanagement and his controversial policies, including seizures of white-owned farms.

“The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of December, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index, stood at 66 212,3%, gaining 39 741,5 percentage points on the November rate of 26 470,8%,” Zimbabwe’s Central Statistical Office (CSO) said in a statement on Thursday.

Month-on-month inflation also rose to 240,1% in December from 131,4% in November, the CSO said.

The data was another sign that a government-ordered price freeze in June had failed to halt runaway price increases. Zimbabwe is struggling with rising poverty, unemployment of about 80% and chronic food and fuel shortages.

Mugabe, who blames the problems on sabotage by Western nations opposed to his rule, is running for another term as president in elections on March 29 .—Reuters

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