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Zimbabwe Devalues National Currency by 45%

Zimbabwe has devalued its national currency by 45 percent as its economy faces a sixth year of recession.

In a fiscal policy speech Thursday, Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono devalued the Zimbabwe dollar to 9,000 per U.S. dollar from 6,200.

The new rate is closer to the estimated black market rate of at least 18,000 per U.S. dollar.

Mr. Gono also announced an increase in subsidies paid to Zimbabwe's tobacco farmers. Zimbabwe's tobacco industry, once the world's strongest, has been beset by droughts.

Tobacco production has dropped by nearly two-thirds since President Robert Mugabe's controversial redistribution of thousands of white-owned farms to landless blacks was launched in 2000.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.