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Venezuela's inflation rate last year was 234%..."It's lower"


Venezuela's murderous inflation has slowed "somewhat," but it still shows an annual increase of more than 200%.

According to Reuters, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on the 23rd (local time) that the inflation rate last year was 234%.

Vice President Rodriguez mentioned the figures during a meeting with Turkish and Venezuelan entrepreneurs earlier in the day.

Venezuela's central bank rarely publishes economic data and has not provided inflation data to the outside world since October last year.

The annual inflation rate of 234% is still high, but it is lower than the previous year, 686.4% in 2021. In 2020, it reached 2,969.8%.

President Nicolás Maduro's government is credited with curbing consumer price growth for months thanks to strict economic policies such as fixed exchange rates, restrictions on public spending and tax increases.

But since last November, the depreciation of the bolivar has led to a sharp rise in prices, causing cracks in that policy, Reuters reported.

The pace of government spending has also accelerated, and demand for the dollar is outstripping central banks' foreign exchange reserves.

Some economists have recently warned that Venezuela risks re-entering "hyperinflation."

In the midst of this, public sector workers, including teachers, nurses, and retired police officers, staged a protest that day demanding improvements in salaries and pensions. These workers have already held protests in more than 10 cities across the country so far this year, demanding higher salaries.

Venezuela's minimum wage is 130 bolivars per month, adjusted in March last year, which is equivalent to about $6.

Gustavo González, 60, a retired police officer who protested in Maracaibo, the second city of Maracaibo, the center of the oil industry, said: "We are starving. The police hospital has to be closed because of the lack of bandages, and there are no shoes or uniforms. The police seem to have been forgotten here."

Humberto Montiel, 63, a pensioner who worked at an airport construction site, said he rummages through garbage for food: "I never thought I'd live like this at sixty-three. But I'm still hungry." [YonhapNews]

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