New banknotes roll out in Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe’s central bank begins circulating new banknotes on Monday. The introduction of the new two and five-dollar notes marks the final phase of the return of the Zimbabwean dollar.

The central bank banned the use of the US dollar in favor of the new Zimdollar introduced in June. The Zimdollar was intended to ease the country’s cash shortage and help stave off hyperinflation.

But the effort has largely failed after the Zimdollar quickly fell prey to black market speculation that sent its value plummeting. Inflation has since soared to triple digits.

The government says the new notes will ease cash shortages that have seen most people unable to withdraw their savings.

The major fear is that a huge cash injection in the middle of an economic crisis will stoke inflation. A loaf of bread that cost a dollar in January now costs 15 Zimbabwe dollars.

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