A three-year transitional development plan was adopted for 1982–85. It called for investments in the public sector and assumed an average net growth rate of 8% per year. Manufacturing was to receive 23% of total investment, transport 14%, and agriculture 13%. Total investment fell 30% short of this goal. The Five-Year Development Plan for 1986–90 called for an annual growth rate of 5.1%, some 60% from public-sector investment and 40% from foreign sources. Education, defense, and debt service were the largest categories of government spending. During the 1990s, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) supported Zimbabwe's balance of payments, but in 1999 President Robert Mugabe declared that he would sever ties with the development fund. The president was not willing to "save" the economy under a structural adjustment plan because it would have effectively bankrupted the government. In 2000, economic development slid backwards as inflation spiraled, industries died, and agricultural production fell; but in terms of leveling the distribution of wealth between blacks and whites, it was a redletter year.
Mugabe's radical land reform program, poor management of the economy, and interference with the judiciary have combined to prevent further investment and development. Shortages of food, fuel, and foreign exchange marked the early 2000s. The IMF adopted a declaration of noncooperation for Zimbabwe in 2002, and suspended its technical assistance to the country, due to the nonpayment of arrears. In 2003, the IMF suspended Zimbabwe's voting and related rights. That year, inflation stood at 270%, and economic and social conditions had deteriorated, including a rise in unemployment and poverty, and a worsening of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country. In February 2003, the government launched a National Economic Revival Program (NERP) designed to stabilize the economy.