Zimbabwe : Inflation at 165 000 %

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It seems it never rains, but pours for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Hours after elections officials Thursday declared his party had lost for the first time to the opposition in weekend parliamentary polls, a local newspaper reported that year-on-year inflation in February surged 64,320 percentage points to 164,900.3 percent.

Inflation a month earlier stood at 100,580.2 percent.

The Financial Gazette, a weekly business newspaper, said data leaked to it by a government statistics agency showed food and non-alcoholic beverages were the main drivers of inflation last month.

Monthly inflation, the paper reported, surged modestly by five percentage points in February to 125.9 percent.

The surging inflation figures underlined the economic crisis in the country, which was the main issue in the Saturday election.

The opposition richly capitalised on the crisis in the election and, for the first time since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, toppled the ruling ZANU-PF from its majority in parliament.

Crucial results for the presidential segment of the poll, in which Mugabe was strongly challenged by three opposition candidates, are yet to be announced.

But there is growing speculation the veteran 84-year old leader, who has ruled the country for 28 years, may have been beaten. Panapress.

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