Zimbabwe’s new biggest banknote is only worth $ 0.60

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By AFP

Zimbabwe’s central bank on Tuesday announced the introduction of a new $ 50 note, the country’s highest face value, valued at just about $ 0.60 in US currency.

Insufficient even to pay for a loaf of bread, the bill’s entry into circulation has rekindled memories of the hyperinflation seen more than a decade ago in this southern African country.

As price growth spiraled out of control, the cuts at the time climbed to a $ 100,000 billion bill.

Award-winning journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono mocked the new banknote, which, at the unofficial black market exchange rate, will only be worth $ 0.35 in US dollars.

“It tells you something about inflation in your country if you need 3 bills of your highest currency to buy premium beer in a supermarket,” Chin’ono tweeted.

The new banknote is the latest and most valuable in a series introduced from February 2019, as Zimbabwe reverted to using the local currency.

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US dollars had been in use since 2009, when the country ransacked its own worthless units after hyperinflation hit 500 billion percent.

Today, the new denomination is fueling fears of a return to the type of hyperinflation that wiped out savings and collapsed the economy, with dizzying daily jumps in the prices of goods and services.

Zimbabwe’s inflation rate climbed to over 800 percent last year, but it began to decline with June’s annual rate officially at 106.64 percent, according to the National Statistics Agency.

The central bank had forecast that inflation would slow to 55% in July.


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