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Zimbabwe Dollar Plunges As Official Inflation Rate Climbs Over 100,000%

The Zimbabwean dollar collapsed Thursday in parallel market dealings following the announcement that the official inflation rate has topped 100,000%. The country's Central Statistical Office said 12-month inflation in January was 100,580%.

The agency gave the official inflation rate in December as 66,212%.

The news triggered a selloff in the Zimbabwean dollar to a parallel market exchange rate of Z$20 million to the U.S. dollar from around Z$6 million in recent dealings.

Consumers said prices of basic goods have been doubling in recent days, taking them beyond the reach of many households. A loaf of bread now costs Z$3.5 million.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that hyperinflation continues to be fueled by government spending. National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone said inflation has crippled industry.

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