HARARE, Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate continued to rise in March this year, standing at 0.21 per cent after registerina an annualised 0.15 per cent rate in February rate, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency says.

ZimStat reported over the weekend the country had emerged from a long period of deflation in February this year after the year-on-year inflation rate for that month stood at 0.06 per cent, after gaining 0.71 per cent on the January rate. In January, the year-on-year inflation rate a negative 0.65 per cent.

"The month-on-month inflation rate in March 2017 was 0.03 per cent, down 0.58 per cent on the February 2017 rate of 0.61 per cent," Zimstat said. "This means that prices as measured by the all items CPI [consumer price index] increased by an average of 0.15 per cent points between March 2016 and March 2017."

Zimbabwe sank into deflation in September 2014 when it recorded an inflation rate of below zero. The country's annual inflation rate averaged 0.86 per cent from 2009 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 5.30 per cent in May 2010 and a

record low of -7.50 per cent in December 2009.

Analysts say the inflation is caused by those that are sabotaging government initiatives aimed at easing the cash crisis including the introduction of bond coins and notes.

The central bank introduced bond notes late last year, which are backed by a 200 million US dollars African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) facility and to date there are about 102 million of the notes and coins in circulation, half its limit.