The local currency in the Congo is the Congolese franc. The Congolese franc replaced the new zaire and was issued in 1997 for the first time. The official exchange rate, set by the Banque Central du Congo, was widely ignored as the value of the Congolese franc plummeted against every world currency. No foreign currency is available at the official exchange rate, so most foreign currency must be traded on the black market. The drop in the value of the currency has led to high inflation, which has been a chronic problem in the DRC. Inflation rates in the last decade were as high as 8,828 percent in 1993, dropping to 6 percent in 1997 before climbing again to 333 percent in 1999. Because wages have not kept up with inflation, most Congolese cannot afford many goods and resort to bartering to obtain basic necessities.