ZimbabweAEs economic collapse has proven extremely punishing to the average household, for which acquiring even the most basic goods and services is a daily struggle.
Unemployment has skyrocketed over the past year and is now estimated at near 70 percent of the work force. Consumer confidence has plummeted and should remain very depressed through most, if not all, of 2004. Orders for imported consumer goods dropped off sharply over the past two years and should remain very depressed throughout this year. Consumers will find financing to be either unavailable or unaffordable.. In either case, the desire to make financed purchases will be thwarted this year.
Inflation topped 500 percent per annum in recent months and is not likely to come under control any time soon. The skyrocketing cost of basic goods and services will make it impossible for the vast majority of households to engage in discretionary spending this coming year.