A vicious selloff in the Zimbabwean dollar continued Thursday as the currency fell to unofficial exchange rates against the U.S. dollar of Z$35 million to Z$40 million.

The steep depreciation pushed up local prices of many goods now available only from foreign sources. A liter of gasoline was going for more than Z$30 million.

The currency's latest plunge represented an acceleration in its downward trend as it slid from Z$20 million to Z$25 million to the U.S. dollar a few days ago.

Economist Dennis Nikisi, director of the University of Zimbabwe?s Graduate School of Management, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the latest drop probably reflected an import surge - but that it may also have been influenced by uncertainties ahead of the national elections set for March 29.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...