Zimbabwe's Inflation Rate Hits 100,000%

And that's just the official figure: in reality it's even worse
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2008 12:53 PM CST
Vengai Chigaramumba has a close look at the new ten million dollar note introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Friday, January, 18, 2008. The bank released the new ten million dollar note, which...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Zimbabwe's inflation rate is running at 100,000%, according to the government's statistics office—but that's not the worst news. Insane as that number may sound, it's probably an underestimation, writes the Telegraph. In Harare, where shelves are bare and money is being printed at breakneck speed, a single cigarette now costs Z$500,000.

When Zimbabwe won independence in 1980, its dollar was one of the strongest currencies in Africa. But the corruption, land grabs, and mismanagement of Robert Mugabe's regime have led to economic disaster. Yesterday one US dollar would buy Z$9 million in the morning and Z$10.5 million by afternoon. But for Mugabe's cronies, who can trade currencies at artificially low exchange rates, the Zimbabwean dollar's meltdown is a windfall.