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Zimbabwe Inflation, Highest In World, Approaches 1,200%

Consumer inflation in Zimbabwe over the past 12 months hit 1,193% in May, said the country's Central Statistical Office on Friday, following 1,042% in April. Zimbabwe continued to have the highest current level of inflation in the world.

Yet Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono remained optimistic, saying he expects inflation to fall to 400% by the end of 2006 and to 50% by June 2007. But some economists considered his forecast unrealistic, while political analysts said the economic crisis poses a serious threat to President Robert Mugabe's tenure.

For perspective on this latest burst of hyper-inflation, reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with chief economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe.

Independent economist Eric Bloch, in Bulawayo, described what might be done to put the brakes on inflation based on the previous experience of other countries.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...