Saturday, January 17, 2009

Still Setting the Low Standard

As bad as things are getting just about everywhere, Zimbabwe still leads the way down.

Zimbabwe is introducing a Z$100 trillion note, currently worth about US$30 (£20).....Other notes in trillion-dollar denominations of 10, 20 and 50 are also being released to help Zimbabweans cope with hyperinflation.

Correspondents say prices can double every day, and food and fuel - for those without US dollars - are in short supply. Last month, the daily bank cash withdrawal limit - which at one stage was only enough for several loaves of bread - was abandoned. However, most banks do not have enough cash to meet demand.

Most groceries are brought in by Zimbabweans from neighbouring South Africa, Botswana or Zambia, further driving up prices.

There is more than 80% unemployment in the country and those with jobs find their salary is worthless unless they are paid in foreign currency.