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The world's worst economies

By at least one measure, these countries rank worst in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates.

Belarus: Worst inflation

World Economy Belarus
Women buy meat at a market in Belarus' capital of Minsk.
  • Measure: Inflation
  • 2012 reading: 65.9%

Belarus, ruled by President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, is often called Europe's last dictatorship. And it has an inflation problem.

According to the IMF, inflation in Belarus will hit 65.9% in 2012. That's actually down from 2011, when a financial crisis triggered a peak inflation rate of 109%.

The monetary crisis was brought on in part by government wage hikes designed to buoy popular support for the authoritarian regime. The tactic brought around a disastrous result in 2011 as a balance of payments crisis developed and hyperinflation ran rampant.

The country's central bank responded by hiking interest rates, the Belarusian ruble was allowed to float and exchange rates were unified. In addition, Belarus received a $3 billion bailout from neighboring countries.

- Last updated August 07 2012 10:22 AM ET

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