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Learning English - Words in the News
 
18 January, 2008 - Published 14:24 GMT
 
Zimbabwe's $10m banknotes
 
The bank introduced $500,000 and $750,000 bills just last month
The bank introduced $500,000 and $750,000 bills just last month

Zimbabwe's central bank is introducing new higher denomination banknotes today in an effort to ease the critical shortage of cash in the country. Zimbabwe's economic decline for the past eight years has caused annual inflation to be in excess of 50,000%. This report from Peter Biles:

Listen to the story

The introduction of the new banknotes - or "bearer cheques" as they're officially called - is a further attempt to stabilise the Zimbabwean economy. There have been long queues every day at banks as people have struggled to withdraw cash.

The government's only response is to print more money, and that's seen as the main reason for the hyper-inflation. There have been no official inflation figures published for the past three or four months.

Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, has called on the business community not to increase prices every time new measures are taken to adjust the currency.

The new higher denomination banknotes are certain to cause more confusion, and they may only bring short-term relief. In the meantime, many people have become dependent upon imported goods, there are still severe shortages of fuel, and power supplies remain erratic.

Peter Biles, BBC News, Johannesburg

Listen to the words

a further attempt to stabilise
another step/measure to try to stop the decline of

struggled to withdraw cash
spent a lot of time in the queues to take out money from the banks

hyper-inflation
a very high continuous increase in prices

called on
asked, encouraged

to adjust the currency
here, to introduce new banknotes to improve the money situation

higher denomination
worth more money

are certain to cause more confusion
will definitely make the situation where people don't understand what is going on even worse

bring short-term relief
improve the situation for a short period of time

imported goods
goods produced abroad and brought into the country

power supplies remain erratic
sometimes electricity is available and sometimes it's not

 
 
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