Venezuela 2019 inflation close to 10,000%, says central bank
CARACAS, Venezuela – Inflation reached almost 10,000% in crisis-hit Venezuela in 2019, according to official government statistics, a figure well below the International Monetary Fund prediction of 200,000% but still a source of grinding hardship.
Venezuela's central bank said inflation was 9,585%, slightly higher than the figure of 7,374% published by the opposition-controlled parliament. (READ: EXPLAINER: What is hyperinflation?)
It comes during a year in which the bolivar was devalued by 98.6%, effectively making the United States dollar the currency of choice inside Venezuela.
The central bank had remained silent on the question of inflation for 3 years until May 2019 when it announced a figure of 130,000% for 2018 and admitted that gross domestic product had fallen by half since 2013.
Venezuela has suffered 5 years of recession and a crippling economic crisis that has decimated the value of salaries and savings, caused poverty to soar and more than 4 million people to leave the country.
President Nicolas Maduro blames Venezuela's economic woes on a US oil embargo against the South American country.
Oil generates 96% of Venezuela's revenue but the country produces only 900,000 barrels a day compared with a high of 3.2 million just over a decade ago.
Maduro's critics blame the government for mismanagement, heavy handed policies, and a failure to maintain infrastructure for Venezuela's falling oil output.
Blackouts are a regular occurrence in the country, particularly in western regions.
Venezuela is also in the midst of a political crisis with opposition leader Juan Guaido claiming to be acting president and supported by more than 50 countries. – Rappler.com