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Zimbabwe Inflation Falls Under 1,000%, But Economists Unimpressed

Consumer inflation in Zimbabwe retreated under 1,000% in July to 993.6% compared with 1,185% in June. However, economists said the decline under the psychologically sensitive level did not indicate a real turnaround in the battle with hyperinflation.

Economists said the inflation index was likely to head north again in August given the 60% devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar announced July 31, which has given rise to price increases of the same order of magnitude for fuel, food and other goods.

July month-on-month inflation was 25.1%, well up from 17.3% the previous month.

Central Statistical Office Director Moffat Nyoni said in a news conference Wednesday that households are paying about 11 times more for essential goods and services than one year earlier. Year-on-year inflation was running at 250% through July 2005.

The biggest increases in July were in motor vehicle and health insurance, up 64.4%, fuel and lubricants, up 58.4%, and hospital services, which climbed 57.2%

Economist John Robertson of Harare told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the decline in inflation in July this year was nothing to celebrate.

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