Tuesday, May 02, 2006

This is what hyperinflation looks like. 

How bad is inflation in Zimbabwe? Well, consider this: at a supermarket near the center of this tatterdemalion capital, toilet paper costs $417.

No, not per roll. Four hundred seventeen Zimbabwean dollars is the value of a single two-ply sheet. A roll costs $145,750 � in American currency, about 69 cents.
Source. The proximate cause? The government had to pay arrears on a loan to the IMF US$221 million, and it printed Z$21 trillion to get the money. Here's an article I linked last January when the inflation rate was lower, describing how people lived with hyperinflation. Take this mother, for example.
Because my income hasn't risen as much as the prices in the shops, we have had to adjust quite a bit.

The things that we buy - the groceries at home, the things we get for our two children - we have to buy immediately, as soon as we get the money.

We know that if we wait a bit, the prices are going to go up again. If we wait another week, we will not be able to afford anything.

People are taking the money out in suitcases or carrier bags.
This is what hyperinflation looks like: