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Zimbabwe's inflation spikes to 765.57% in April: Zimstat

by Staff reporter
01 Jun 2020 at 08:29hrs | Views
Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation galloped to 765.57 percent in April, up from 676.39 percent in the previous month, statistical agency Zimstat said on Tuesday.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation fell to 17.64 percent from 26.59 percent in March.

The statistics, which were due on May 15, were delayed with Zimstat blaming the coronavirus outbreak.

In February, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe forecast the annual inflation rate to fall to 50 percent by the end of the year, but a coronavirus outbreak and climate change-induced shocks have put paid to those optimistic projections.

In a letter to multilateral lenders last month, finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the country's economy, which shrank by eight percent last year, could contract by up to 20 percent by the end of 2020.

Analysts say price pressures will remain elevated due to a weak exchange rate and shortages of food following a drought.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Zimbabwe was grappling with its worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by shortages of foreign exchange, medicines and electricity as public frustration with President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government grows.

By Thursday, Zimbabwe had reported 149 coronavirus cases and four deaths. The economic effects of the country's coronavirus lockdown have been ruinous. More than half of the country's 15 million people already needed food aid after a drought in 2019, according to the government and aid agencies, which shrank the economy by 6 percent.

Mangagwa promised a US$720 million stimulus package for distressed companies, but did not say where the money would come from.

Source - zimlive