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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 17:41 GMT
Zimbabwe sees record inflation
Children scavenge for food in Zimbabwe
Zimbabweans are adopting increasingly desperate measures
Zimbabwe's inflation has hit a record high of 782%, the country's Central Statistics Office announced on Friday.

On a month-by-month basis, the consumer price index went up by 27.5%, compared with 18.6% in January.

The rise was due to further hikes in transport, education and housing costs, the office said.

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.

Analysts said the government needed to take steps to strengthen property rights, liberalise the exchange rate and deregulate prices.

IMF rejection

The statistics come after the International Monetary Fund decided not to renew the country's voting and associated rights within the international agency nor provide any more funds.

The IMF's board said Zimbabwe's crisis demanded a "comprehensive policy package, comprising several mutually reinforcing actions in the area of macroeconomic stabilisation and structural reforms".

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe's main milling organisation said the country had only two weeks of wheat supply left, while citizens were facing soaring bread prices.

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