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Zimbabwe Reaches ‘Tipping Point’ as Inflation Blacked Out

  • Statistics office to resume publishing annual data next year
  • Country beset by 18-hour power outages, shortages of goods
Workers prepare pieces of metal for resale at a scrap and sheet metal stall in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Workers prepare pieces of metal for resale at a scrap and sheet metal stall in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Photographer: Cynthia R Matonhodze/Bloomberg
Updated on

Zimbabwe’s finance minister responded to the country’s worsening economic crisis last week by blacking out inflation statistics for the next six months, boosting the price of the little power that’s available five-fold and admitting what the International Monetary Fund told him in April: the economy will contract for the first time since 2008.

At the same time he spoke of fiscal surpluses and and plans to abolish a requirement for local control for projects in the key platinum industry. This all happened in a country with daily power cuts of up to 18 hours and shortages of everything from bread to motor fuel. People are receiving food aid in cities for the first time and a drought has necessitated the import of hundreds of thousands of tons of corn.