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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Zimbabwe inflation data delayed
Bread price protest in early 2006
Zimbabweans are growing frustrated at the state of the economy
Publication of Zimbabwe's inflation data has been postponed "indefinitely", as analysts and economists predicted the figure for April would top 1,000%.

Officials at the Central Statistics Office (CSO) cancelled the release of the data to the media after their boss was called to an urgent meeting.

Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate climbed from 782% in February to 913.6% in March, the highest in the world.

Robert Mugabe's government is facing a severe and deepening economic crisis.

The economy has been hit by shortages of food, fuel, foreign currency, a crumbling urban infrastructure and water and electricity cuts.

Mr Mugabe, 82, who led the country to independence from the UK in 1980, blames the crisis to sabotage by his domestic and foreign enemies.

Reforms call

Runaway inflation is so rampant that ordinary Zimbabwean citizens have to carry huge amounts of cash just to buy everyday goods such as rice and bread.

Transport, education and housing costs also continue to rise steadily, and many angry Zimbabweans are now speaking out openly about the situation.

Fuel and food shortages have left some two-thirds of the population unemployed and impoverished, with no sign of economic recovery, analysts say.

A shortage of fuel has forced up the price of transport. Rents have also risen following the government's controversial demolition of many homes, creating more homeless people.

The International Monetary Fund has called for a "comprehensive policy package, comprising several mutually reinforcing actions in the area of macroeconomic stabilisation and structural reforms".

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