Inflation – now it’s real!

3 06 2008

How badly did I want this butter? Obviously badly enough to fork out the equivalent of 10 USD for a kg! I don’t use it that much but sometimes it’s really nice to enjoy a slice of fresh bread and Marmite! I cannot remember what the price was last time I bought but I do know it was much less in real terms. Actually the last butter I bought was in South Africa at the end of March so I reckoned I owed myself this treat.

Last week I had to go and get some inputs for the nursery. I suppose I could have paid in Zim dollars if I’d had them but the truth was I didn’t. I’d even had to “bring in” (I know someone who has cash here and I have money there so an arrangement was made) some of my hard saved USD just to keep the company going long enough to see through some seedlings that I’m pretty sure I can get USD for. It’s a gamble and if it doesn’t pay off I guess we will close. So, I took the figurative deep breath and went for it. On entering the fertilizer into the computer at work I noticed that the real (i.e. USD) price had gone up some 20% since I’d last bought fertilizer in December last year. I know that the onion seed that we use has gone up 25% in the last 6 months and diesel has gone up 50% since last November. We are no longer a cheap 3rd World country; we are instead like Zambia (which is expensive) but without the supporting economy. The catch of course is that most of us are earning Zimbabwe dollars which as of yesterday are worth about a billionth of a US dollar.

Yesterday I also had to make some more space on the invoices at work. Coping for billions is just not enough. I long ago removed the cents and all our prices are rounded up to the nearest million. It’s easily done as I wrote the software but I have not had much luck marketing it. Most companies prefer to just keep knocking 3 zero’s off and putting up a little notice at the checkout to that effect. The banks have had to resort to issuing new accounts once they get into the trillions (1×10 to the power 12). Oh Zimbabwe, when will it end?




2 responses

7 06 2008
Big Blister

The price of oil made a record leap of $10/barrel today and the US sotck exchange dropped 400 points. Price of farm inputs increasing has already made a nonsense of last season’s record prices. So we may not be that far off from Zimbabwe but of course we won’t acknowledge any economic slump.

But your other news is of increasing concern…

7 06 2008

And Mr. Brown thinks we have problems!

I always feel so terrible when people ask me how you’re getting on, because I honestly have no idea, apart from what’s on your blog. All I can do is relate to news on the telly (of which there still is some) and say you’re struggling.
But fingers crossed for the business!

Seen as you mentioned marmite, around Valentine’s day the marmite people (whoever they are) released Marmite with champagne in it. It’s still sitting in the cupboard now, waiting to be tried. I’m guessing the flavour description will classed as “interesting”.

Although you probably have much more interesting things to do with your time, I have a blog too, filled with all the randomness that inhabits my life.

Good luck!

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