Seven-Digit Misery Index
Think inflation is bad here? Check out this Associated Press dispatch from Harare, Zimbabwe:
Weary Zimbabweans are facing a new wave of price increases that will put many basic goods even further out of their reach: A loaf of bread now costs what 12 new cars did a decade ago.
Independent finance houses said in an assessment Tuesday that annual inflation rose this month to 1,063,572 percent based on prices of a basket of basic foodstuffs. Economic analysts say unless the rate of inflation is slowed, annual inflation will likely reach about 5 million percent by October.
As stores opened for business Wednesday, a small pack of locally produced coffee beans cost just short of 1 billion Zimbabwe dollars. A decade ago, that sum would have bought 60 new cars.
And fresh price rises were expected after the state Grain Marketing Board announced up to 25-fold increases in its prices to commercial millers for wheat and the corn meal staple.
If Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe were clever, he would emphasize the "core inflation" rate--i.e., not count food and fuel. Things wouldn't look nearly as bad then.