UPDATE: 20 MAR 2009
Zimbabwe: Government Chooses Rand As Reference Currency
THE Government has chosen the rand as the country's reference currency but will not randify the economy.The multiple currency system adopted last month remains in force.The US dollar and the rand have, however, been the two major currencies in use in the country. The move was part of efforts to achieve economic liberalisation to pull the economy out of the present challenges.South African President Kgalema Motlanthe gave Zimbabwe the green light to adopt the rand as standard currency to address the prevailing economic challenges and to assist the inclusive Government.
NB: The South African Rand is the currency in South Africa (ZA, ZAF). The South African Rand is also known as Rands.
UPDATE: 18 JAN 2009
Zimbabwe is set to introduce a Z$100 trillion note, worth about US $33 on the black market, as hyperinflation continues to run rampant, according to state media.
New bank notes issued in the past have done little to help the spiralling cost of livingLast week the country's central bank began circulating Z$10, Z$20 and Z$50 billion notes - but they are no longer sufficient.A political deadlock between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over power-sharing has done little to help Zimbabwe's failing economy.The country is also in the grip of a cholera epidemic with food and petrol prices doubling every day.Zimbabweans often have to line up for hours outside banks to withdraw barely enough cash to buy a loaf of bread.An official estimate put inflation at 231,000,000% in July - but some experts now believe it is much higher.In addition to the Z$100 trillion note, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe plans to launch Z$10 trillion, Z$20 trillion and Z$50 trillion notes, the Herald newspaper reported.
UPDATE: 12 DEC 2008
Zimbabwe's central bank is introducing a $500 million note -- the highest current denomination -- as the once-prosperous southern African nation battles against spiraling hyperinflation.
The $500 million note is worth about 8 U.S. dollars and enough to buy just eight loaves of bread. Thursday,
UPDATE: 6 DEC 2008
Inflation-wracked Zimbabwe plans to introduce a 200 million dollar note just days after a 100 million dollar note came into circulation, the government announced Saturday 6 DEC 2008.
The 200 million dollar note, announced in a notice in the government gazette, will bring to 28 the number of notes put into circulation by the central bank this year alone, as the country struggles with the world's highest inflation rate of 231 million percent.
On Thursday the central bank introduced 100 million, 50 million and 10 million dollar notes while at the same time increasing withdrawal limits for individuals and companies.
The 100 million dollar note is worth only about 14 US dollars, and its value erodes by the day. Prices of basic goods and services rose sharply on Thursday when the 100 million dollar note was introduced.
The 100,000 banknote is worth only one US dollar on the widely-used parallel black market and is only half the amount needed to buy a loaf of bread.
UPDATE: OCT 2008
Zimbabwe's inflation rate surges to 231,000,000%
Zimbabwe issue New 50 thousand banknotes
one and a half weeks ago. Before the end of the year there is every chance again to move billions.
Zimbabwe - the only country in the world where the largest denomination - 50 000, a roll of cheap toilet paper costs 100 000. If you take 100 000 and change them to the smallest denominations, to 5 Zimbabwean dollars, you get 20 000 banknotes. On average, toilet paper rolls - 72 a piece. It turns out that in Zimbabwe use the money instead of toilet paper to 278 times more profitable than buying them at this very paper. Moreover, the cheapest toilet paper in Zimbabwe - such as unpleasant as these banknotes.
UPDATE: SEPT 2008
Zimbabwe's currency collapses
Zimbabwe began officially trading in foreign currency in what is seen as tacit acknowledgment that its own currency has collapsed.
The central bank said it issued about 600 licenses allowing stores, supermarkets, gasoline importers and other businesses to import and sell goods for U.S. dollars, South African rand and other foreign currencies.
In September of a pile of money could buy a loaf of bread
Zimbabwe issue new Twenty Thousand Dollars
UPDATE: JULY 2008
Zimbabwe cuts ten zeros making ten billion dollars become one
Zimbabwe is going to remove ten zeros from its banknotes within the scope of the struggle against hyperinflation. The Central Bank of the poverty-stricken African nation will present the new Zimbabwean currency on August 1, 2008.
One hundred billion dollars can buy 3 eggs only
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe has broken all records in the world. The new banknotes of the country will lose ten zeros at once and will be exchanged at the rate of one new Zimbabwean dollar to ten billion old Zimbabwean dollars.
“Ten billion Zimbabwean dollars will be equated to one Zimbabwean dollar from August 1,” Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono said in a statement.
The annual inflation rate in Zimbabwe reached the all-time record level of 2 million percent, sources at the government say. Independent experts believe that the real figure is five times as high. The statistics of appearance of new banknotes in Zimbabwe speaks for itself. Ten-million-dollar notes appeared in January of this year, 50-million notes followed in April, with 100 and 250-million notes in May and 5, 25 and 50-billion-dollar notes appeared in the country afterwards.
In July the Central Bank of Zimbabwe issued a 100-billion-dollar note.
The economy of Zimbabwe remains in deep crisis. The unemployment level in the country makes up 80 percent, whereas several millions of Zimbabweans have become refugees. The country suffers from a serious shortage of food and fuel.
The economic meltdown and repressive political measures in Zimbabwe have led to a flood of refugees into neighbouring countries. An estimated 3.4 million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the population, had fled abroad by mid 2007. Some 3 million of these have gone to South Africa.
Apart from the people who fled into the neighbouring countries, an estimated 570,000 people are displaced within the borders of the country, many of whom remain in transit camps and have limited access to assistance. Most of the displaced have been victims of the Operation Murambatsvina in the year 2005 and continuing evictions and violent farm seizures. Their plight is virtually impossible to assess, as there has been no national survey of people displaced since 2005.
However, these numbers are likely to have been exaggerated, as a study by the Forced Migration Studies Program of Witwatersrand University finds.
UPDATE: Apr 2008
The new Zimbabwe 50 million dollar note is worth $1 at the widely used black market trading and can buy just three loaves of bread.
HYPERINFLATION IN ZIMBABWE
In Zimbabwe you can buy tomatoes on the market for 5 million Zimbabwean dollars. This country is in a desperate situation now with 80% unemployment and constantly rising inflation. At the beginning of March the exchange rate 20m for 1 US dollar, now it’s already 40m.
80% population of 12 million survives on less than $1 a day. Inflation is the highest in the world at more than 100,000 percent and people suffer crippling shortages of food, water, electricity, fuel and medicine.
Inflation has gone through the roof. While we were there a new 750,000 dollar bill had
just been released and now a 10 million dollar note is on its way. Imagine trying to pay for things in shops in multiples of 750,000 - it messes with your brain! To give you an idea of prices a can of coke costs 3 million, a traditional meal of mealie meal, spinach and meat stew about 4 million and bus tickets anywhere from 10 million upwards.
Recently, the state-controlled newspaper raised its cover price to 3 million Zimbabwean dollars. Two pounds of chicken were recently reported to cost about 15 million Zimbabwean dollars.
A man counts a big stack of money to buy some bananas in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The official government exchange rate is 1USD for 30,000Zim Dollars which is just ridiculous when you consider the black market rate for us was 1USD for 2.3million Zim Dollars and rising every week.
The situation has led to everyday regular people having to resort
to almost begging from foreigners.
The supermarkets are empty of all but the most basic food so while you may be able to buy bread, tomatoes and onions there is virtually no chance of getting your hands on any eggs, fresh fruit or dairy products. If you do come across cheese or meat it is so overpriced that no one can afford to buy it. The other things in the shop are items that are considered too much of a luxury to spend money on like tins of tuna, chocolate bars and cereal.
The black market rate for us was 1USD for 2.3million Zim Dollars and rising every week.
This situation has occurred partly due to the fact most of the farms are not functioning as they used to any more but mostly because of the huge shortage of any foreign currency in the country to buy and import goods. Because the Zim Dollar is worthless outside the country businesses need US Dollars, SA Rand, British Pounds or Botswana Pula or just about any other currency they can get their hands on just to keep trading.
There is a huge daily cross border migration of people in search of jobs but also just to buy necessities like cooking oil, soap, coffee and sugar.More than 3 million discontented people have fled the country.