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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Venezuela's annual inflation soars to 488,865% in September, congress says

Hyperinflation continues amid a broader economic collapse

A woman selects peppers at a stall in Caracas, Venezuela October 8, 2018. Monthly inflation rose to 233 per cent in September from 223 per cent in August. Reuters
A woman selects peppers at a stall in Caracas, Venezuela October 8, 2018. Monthly inflation rose to 233 per cent in September from 223 per cent in August. Reuters

Venezuelan consumer prices rose 488,865 per cent in the 12 months ending in September, a member of the opposition-run congress reported on Monday, as the Opec nation’s hyperinflation continues to accelerate amid a broader economic collapse.

Daily inflation is now 4 per cent, according to opposition legislator Angel Alvarado, with monthly inflation rising to 233 per cent in September from 223 per cent in August.

In an effort to stabilise prices, President Nicolas Maduro in August cut five zeros off the ailing bolivar currency, boosted the minimum wage by 3,000 per cent, and pegged salaries to an elusive state-backed cryptocurrency.

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Opposition legislators have become the only source for economic indicators after the central bank stopped publishing such information nearly three years ago as the economy began unraveling.

The International Monetary Fund estimates consumer prices would rise 1,000,000 per cent in 2018.

Mr Maduro was re-elected in May in a vote that dozens of foreign governments described as rigged.

He insists the election was free and fair and says the situation is the result of an “economic war” led by the opposition and business leaders who are arbitrarily raising prices.