Zimbabwe inflation out of control

Robert Mugabe : President of ZimbabweIf you're always complaining about how much things cost, and how prices increase year after year, count yourself luck you dont live in Zimbabwe!

The central bank has just issues a $200,000 note in a vain attempt to bring hyper inflation under control. But before you plan your retirement its worth knowing the new note can just about buy 1kg (2.2lb) of sugar.

Food and fuel shortages have become common as the government relies more heavily on imports, pushing prices to new heights. The official annual rate of inflation in Zimbabwe is more than 4,500%. In reality, this means the price of a loaf of bread costs 50 times more in cash than it did a year ago, so sandwiches are off the menu for now!

Critics have blamed President Robert Mugabe's policies, especially the seizure of white-owned farms, for ordinary Zimbabweans' hardship. For his part, President Mugabe has accused foreign governments of trying to interfere in Zimbabwe's affairs.

The new banknote comes after International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that by the end of 2007, prices will be 1,000 times higher than they were a year earlier, Reuters news agency reports.

And so it is the way.

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