REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
- Inflation in Venezuela hits an annual rate of 830,000% — and is likely to keep rising.
- A report published to the country's Congress by a coalition of opposition parties said that the annual rate had almost doubled since in the month since the last report was published in October.
- The International Monetary Fund expects inflation to hit 1 million percent by the end of 2018, with local economists expecting a further pick-up in price rises as Christmas bonuses are handed out in the coming month.
Inflation in the stricken South American nation of Venezuela hit an annual rate of 830,000% in the year to October, according to new data released this week to the country's parliament.
A report published to the nation's Congress by a coalition of opposition parties said that the annual rate had almost doubled since in the month since the last report was published. In the year to September, inflation stood at 488,000%.
Monthly inflation actually fell somewhat, with that figure falling from 233% in September, to 147% last month.
This week's figures may seem troubling, but things are set to get even worse for Venezuelans, with the IMF arguing that the country's annual inflation rate will likely hit 1 million percent or more by the end of the year.
"The collapse in economic activity, hyperinflation, and increasing deterioration ... will lead to intensifying spillover effects on neighboring countries," the Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department said in a blog post in July.
Werner went on to compare what is happening in the country to the hyperinflation incidents seen in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s, and in Weimar Germany after the First World War.
Local economists, Reuters reports, also say that hyperinflation could become even more aggressive in the final months of the year. That's because public sector workers are given bonuses ahead of the holiday season which could boost purchasing power, and push the cost of goods up even more.
The data is the latest to suggest that measures introduced by the embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is failing to achieve its aims. Maduro announced a series of radical economic interventions over the summer, designed to bring down inflation and stabilize the Venezuelan economy, which is currently in an accelerating decline.
Maduro's policies included devaluing Venezuela's currency, the bolívar, by 95% and pegging it to the state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro.
With the policies failing to have any real impact, the continued hyperinflation of goods means everyday items are unaffordable for many Venezuelans, and poverty and violence are widespread in the country.
News of Venezuela's still surging inflation rate comes just days after reports that the country has approached the Bank of England about getting back approximately 15 tonnes of gold bullion held in the UK.
Citing two sources with direct knowledge of the operation, Reuters said that the plans related to recently announced sanctions by the US aimed at disrupting the South American country's gold exports.
US President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order to bar US persons from dealing with entities and people involved with "corrupt or deceptive" gold sales from Venezuela.
- Mark Zuckerberg and his college-sweetheart wife Priscilla Chan are worth billions — see their houses, cars, and travels
- Scott Walker was narrowly ousted in Wisconsin, and a law he put in place means he can't ask for a recount
- Venezuela really wants its $550 million worth of gold back from the Bank of England