Inflation, considered by the World Bank to be the greatest tax on the poor, could President Robert Mugabe’s nemesis. Despite the wholesale price controls his government introduced in November, inflation has continued to shoot up, reaching 208.1 percent in January.
But experts say this is a very conservative figure as the inflation was calculated using controlled prices at which no one buys any of the commodities that make up the basket.
Prices of most controlled products are three to 10 times the controlled price depending on demand.
Now fuel has gone up by between 80 and 95 percent, which should trigger other price increases.
Inflation was around 135 percent before the government introduced wide-ranging price controls. It shot up to 175.5 percent in November and on to 198.9 percent in December.
It stood at 18.8 percent in 1997 and rose to 31.7% the following year. It climbed to 58.5 percent in1999 and averaged 133.2 percent last year.
Analysts say inflation could shoot up to over 1000 percent by the end of the year. The government wants it down to 96 percent, but all the measures it has announced in its current budget seem to be backfiring.