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A man shows off Zimbabwean currency notes outside a grocery store in Harare, Zimbabwe. Reuters

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rises to seven-month peak in March

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Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rose to a seven-month peak of 55.3 percent in March from 47.6 percent in the previous month, according to data released by the National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) on Wednesday.

The upward trend in annual inflation comes amid continued currency instability.

Since the beginning of the year, the Zimbabwean dollar has continued to depreciate against the U.S. dollar, dropping from 10,000 Zimbabwean dollars against 1 U.S. dollar in January to the current 22,000 Zimbabwean dollars against 1 U.S. dollar in official trade.

The local currency depreciation is taking place amid delays in the announcement of the 2024 monetary policy statement, resulting in growing uncertainty in the market.

The monetary policy statement is traditionally announced in February each year, and monetary authorities have cited the need to consult widely as the major reason for the delay.

The market is now eagerly waiting for the monetary policy statement to address the currency volatility after Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said the government was working on a structured currency to stabilize the Zimbabwean dollar.

Meanwhile, the month-on-month inflation rate for March 2024 stood at 4.9 percent, down from the February rate of 5.4 percent, ZimStat said.

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