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Zimbabwe's inflation hits 1 593%

2006 Year End Monetary Policy Statement

Mutambara: the end of thing by Mugabe regime

RBZ lifts restrictions on foreign currency transfers

Biti: failure is the only option

Gono: 'devaluation will bless parallel market'

RBZ cuts money supply to stem inflation

Interest rates unchanged at 500%

RBZ refuses to devalue currency

Zim inflation hits new record


By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE'S annual inflation hit a record 1,593.6 percent in January from 1,281.1 percent previously, official data showed on Monday, in a sign the government is failing to come to grips with a recession fanning political tensions.

The southern African country is deep in a crisis marked by chronic shortages of foreign exchange, food and fuel that critics blame on President Robert Mugabe's politically driven policies including the seizure of land from white commercial farmers to resettle landless blacks.

The Central Statistical Office said on a monthly basis inflation rose to 45.4 percent compared to 36.3 percent in December.

The statistics will come as a crashing blow to the Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono who unveiled his new monetary policy for the first quarter of the year last week.

Among a raft of measures to try and contain inflation, the RBZ announced that it was cutting back on quasi-fiscal activities which have been criticised by the International Monetary Fund and former Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa as the chief inflation driver.

And in a bid to bring new thinking to the economic revival strategy, President Robert Mugabe named a new Finance Minister last week, but economic observers were quick to dismiss Samuel Mumbengegwi's appointment as "too little too late".

Commentators say nothing short of broader political reforms, respect for property rights and normalisation of relations with the international community will stop the economic slide.

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