October 30, 2020

At More Than 500%, Zimbabwe’s Ncube Sees Inflation Stabilizing

(Bloomberg) — Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterZimbabwean inflation is beginning to stabilize, even with consumer prices increasing more than 500% on an annual basis, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said.Year-on-year inflation remains high, “but that’s expected, that happens when you liberalize a currency,” Ncube said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos.After a decade of using a basket of foreign currencies, including the South African rand and the U.S. dollar, Zimbabwe last year reintroduced its own tender. It has plummeted to 17.1950 per dollar since a 1:1 peg was removed in February.The southern African nation’s statistics agency suspended publishing year-on-year inflation data after June, when monthly inflation peaked at 39.3%. It still releases the consumer price index, which shows annual costs rose 521% in December, the most since a hyperinflation episode in 2009. While monthly price growth has cooled, it was still at 16.6% in December, whereas Ncube said in February it could be close to zero by the end of 2019.Still, investors can believe his government’s pledge to rein in inflation because they have “walked the talk,” he said.“We said that month-on-month inflation is going to be stabilizing and going to be dropping, that’s what has been been happening,” Ncube said. “We believe that we are on our way to dealing with inflation. It will take time, but we are headed there.”–With assistance from Rene Vollgraaff.To contact the reporter on this story: Haslinda Amin in Singapore at [email protected] contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Harvey at [email protected], Rene Vollgraaff, Paul RichardsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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