Feb 26 2008

The price of a beer in Zimbabwe: $4,813,277 and rising, FAST!

Published by at 9:41 am under Inflation

Price of a bottle of beer in Zimbabwe – Worldometers

Check this out… Our favorite African basket-case economy is now experiencing 150,000% inflation! Zimbabwe’s new $10,000,000 bill will buy you two beers.

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About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

32 responses so far

32 Responses to “The price of a beer in Zimbabwe: $4,813,277 and rising, FAST!”

  1. KatherineYangon 26 Feb 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I didn't think 150,000% was possible…that's just scary.

  2. Christina Huon 26 Feb 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Wow. That's just.. chucklable.

    I just scoff-laughed.

  3. ElaineLungon 26 Feb 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Anybody know what denominations their currency comes in? I'd love to feel like a rich man with a giant wad of cash every time I pulled out money to buy a drink.

    Also, lawl.

  4. ElaineLungon 26 Feb 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Zimbabwe issues 10 Million Dollar Note

    …Never mind. 🙁

  5. TimChuon 26 Feb 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Can i get that in 10s and 20s please? also, I imagine finding change for a beer that's $4813277 would require some awesome arithmetic skills…BOO MATH! HOORAY BEER!

  6. Chris Seahon 26 Feb 2008 at 11:29 pm

    This is a sad result for what was once known as the "bread basket of Africa". This is what happens where a nationalist government seizes land from the former colonists who knew how to use it and disperses it to the clueless native masses. All the once-arable farmland is now going to waste. it's a shame.

    I wonder what would happen if through some economic miracle the exchange rate of the Zimbabwe's currency appreciated against that of the US and all Zimbabweans literally became multi millionaires. Oh, well; wishful thinking.

  7. Shana Lopezon 27 Feb 2008 at 8:55 am

    Our econ teacher brought this to our attention today, and it's quite a shock. We've seen prices go up here, but not like this (in our lifetimes, that is). For example, it's now over $3.50 for a gallon of milk (for the good brands). Imagine seeing that sky rocket like the beer in Zimbabwe.

  8. Mondon 27 Feb 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Wow cash must be worthless, the paper used in making it must be worth more than the cash itself haha.

  9. calvinluon 27 Feb 2008 at 11:16 pm

    In my knowledge,this type of situation only occurs during war time, when the government is desperately in need of money and start to print money massively

    all i can say is, sucks to have a bad leader

  10. richardtuon 28 Feb 2008 at 11:53 am

    LOL. This is a type of government failure. Everyone owns 10 millions dollars, it seems like everyone is loaded; however, the "wealth", the purchasing power is only worth two beers. This is a very depressing situation to occur in a economy. This is a result of inflation.

  11. richardtuon 28 Feb 2008 at 11:54 am

    This is a type of government failure. Everyone owns 10 millions dollars, it seems like everyone is loaded; however, the "wealth", the purchasing power is only worth two beers. This is a very depressing situation to occur in a economy. This is a result of inflation.

  12. Jeff Yeon 28 Feb 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Hmm, i wonder how much zimbabwe dollars equal 1 u.s. dollar. Like Tim said, if a product was not a conventient price with zeroes trailing at the end, the cashier would need extremely fast hands to hand out change, and at the same time trying not to piss off the people waiting in line. If a beer is 5 mil, i wonder how much a house or a car is.

  13. jacqueszhangon 28 Feb 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Foolish is all I can say. Absolutely foolish. It really doesn't even take an introductory course to realize that the bills themselves AREN'T WORTH ANYTHING unless they're backed by SOLID value. Printing more and more bills only causes massive inflation, and you'd think Mugabe would know better by now..

  14. Nicole Wongon 28 Feb 2008 at 8:59 pm

    That's crazy. Mr Welker mentioned this in class, discussing how the president of Zimbabwe simply produces more money whenever the country needs it. If inflation has increased so much, there must be a rather low "demand" for money. And I thought Germany's bread-for-a-barrow-of-cash was bad…

  15. MichaelChowon 28 Feb 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Like what previous posts above me mentions this is quite merely simply a illusion of having such an amount in numerical terms. However this plays no effect what so ever in the purchase of goods in the nation since it is proved worthless compared to other currencies.

  16. Jeewonon 28 Feb 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Isn't the Zimbabwe government aware that the money that it's producing is worth nothing…? Okay, the article says that the official exchange rate is 1 USD = 30,000 ZWD, but on the black market it is 1 USD = 1,500,000 ZWD. And these exchange rates are "grossly inaccurate" because there are constant dramatic changes. The price control body should really do something to halt the sharp price increases..

  17. Conrad Liuon 29 Feb 2008 at 1:16 am

    I actually laughed hard and long when I read this. Obviously, the nominal wage seems huge compared to the average American's wage. However, because the REAL wage is, in fact, VERY low, it results in the misleading idea that a 10,000,000 bill can get you a lot.

  18. Howard Linon 29 Feb 2008 at 11:15 am

    Perhaps this was due to the spiral effect as Mr.Welker mentioned in class, in which income rises which cause the cost of production to rise which means price rises for the product and its a continues cycle.

  19. Jo Loon 01 Mar 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Does anybody know if people can use checks? Imagine if someone like Bill Gates goes there and decided to buy a car(highly unlikely), and he couldn't write a check. Imagine the amount of cash he would need.

  20. Alex Goldmanon 01 Mar 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I'm sure to many Zimbabweans' surprise, being multi-millionaires isn't nearly as fun as it should be.

  21. kevinhuangon 01 Mar 2008 at 8:57 pm

    That's not good :/ …

  22. Michael Dailyon 02 Mar 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Yeah I read that members of a country club would buy their beers before they played their game of golf because by the time their game ended the drinks would be like over a thousand dollars more. Haha, it is really just ridiculous. I have no idea how anyone could live like that.

  23. Annie Sungon 02 Mar 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Wow…at this rate, I wonder how fast the government is going to have to reprint their bills. I remember the example I heard in class on how people would rush to buy food in the morning of pay day before prices rise again in the afternoon…except this is just multiplied by thousands. Talk about being worth nothing.

  24. Jessicaon 02 Mar 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Okay. I'm not sure if I want to laugh or cry here. What has the world come to. Oh but if i lived in Zimbabwe i would DEFINITELY cry. Haha but the $10,000,000 bill is kind of funny. So what exactly is the exchange rate? How much USD would it cost for a beer?

  25. Cassy Changon 02 Mar 2008 at 10:30 pm

    wait…so wages don't change as fast as inflation right? that stinks. this reminded me of a photo of a man carrying stacks of money on baskets on either side of his bike…it was during war time i believe.

  26. Trevor Sunon 02 Mar 2008 at 10:39 pm

    wow, must be cool to hold a 10 million dollar bill but then again it must suck to have like no purchasing power with it. = =

  27. Hansenon 03 Mar 2008 at 1:17 am

    Hahaha, in response to Tim's post, the opportunity cost of finding the correct change down to the dollar is greater than the change itself. The situation is pretty dire. With each new issuance of a bill, the whole population has to stand in line at the ATM or bank for hours just to get new bills. And yes, sticky wages does come into effect here I think.

  28. Sam Youngon 05 Mar 2008 at 9:23 am

    This is one situation where saving does not help an economy… you can watch money depreciate in your hand by hundreds of dollars an hour… Germany faced a similar problem after the World Wars, especially World War II, and the German economy recovered, so it is possible to pull out of hyperinflation, but is it possible to do so without someone purposely "fixing" the economy? Can it correct itself over time or is it an endless cycle?

  29. jenniferchoion 06 Mar 2008 at 6:17 am

    The huge inflation in the country only reduced its the dollar value significantly. The inflation eventually depreciates the purchasing power of each dollars, just like what happened in Zimbabwe!

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