SHILLLING DROPS AGAIN, CAUSES FEAR FOR CURRENCY VALUES ACROSS THE REGION
After a rally on the currency markets, induced by concerted central bank action last week, when the Tanzania shilling reached into the mid 1.600 hundred territory albeit briefly, has the slide and rot returned with a vengeance. Earlier in the week did the Tanzania Shilling fall back deep into the 1.800 range, though not to the previous record low of 1.853 against one US Dollar, after corporate clients took advantage of the release of US Dollars by the Tanzanian central bank to buy their requirements at nearly 200 Shillings less than just days earlier.
Fears emerged across the region that this trend set in Tanzania may be repeated across in Kenya and Uganda where the currencies also enjoyed an upward trend, and financial market analysts are watching with keen interest to see how this will play out after the Kenya and Uganda shillings too recorded improvements by about 10 percent, wild swings by any standards in any country around the world.
Tourists were bewildered though when changing money as witnessed yesterday as they had only days earlier received substantially better rates, in their favour that is, and at least one argument with a currency dealer was seen to unfold as the tourist thought he was being cheated out of his money. The joy of some clearly though is the bane of others as traders across the region are faced with impossible choices to make about importing goods ahead of the crucial Christmas season, the busiest time of the year for many of them, but with these currency fluctuations it is now anyones game to figure when to buy dollars and pay for shipments. One thing is clear though, the price for all of this is coming down on consumers who will find their Christmas shopping this year as expensive as it has ever been and tighter fists, when it comes to spending will be accompanied by tighter belts all round.