Search

 

Cablegate: How High Can Prices Go?

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001304

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S, AF/EX
USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS
TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID EAGR EINV PGOV ZI
SUBJECT: How high can prices go?

1. GOZ enforcement of an overvalued zimdollar has turned
the country into an expensive destination for anyone
holding foreign exchange. It is an odd turn of events in
a country that comparative surveys has always rated one
of the world's cheapest. On supermarket shelves, many
products now cost double those in the U.S.

2. Here are a few noteworthy upscale examples:

- Leading hotel Meikles will soon charge most customers
US$250/night for a room. The customary price for local
residents in recent years was US$50-70. The hotel says
occupancy is ranging 12-18 percent.

- Luxury safari lodge Pamushana Lodge pegged its nightly
zimdollar resident price in recent years at US$60/person.
It just announced a new Z$1,200,000 (US$225)/person
tariff.

- Victoria 22, a top local restaurant, is raising its
dinner menu on Monday from Z$140,000 (US$26) to Z$180,000
(US$34), plus drinks. Over the past few years, dinners
at Victoria 22 generally converted at US$10. On a recent
evening, the restaurant did not have a single customer,
unheard of months ago.

3. Comment: Many of these establishments depended on
Harare's international community. They may now have
overreacted to inflationary pressures by pricing their
goods or services above the supply/demand equilibrium
intersection. Expats at the U.S. and other embassies
seem to be avoiding any consumptive purchases whenever
possible. With inflation still raging while an
overvalued exchange rate holds steady, locals and
foreigners alike are asking, how expensive can Zimbabwe
get?

Weisenfeld

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>