Hyperinflation Spiral: IMF sees Venezuela inflation accelerating to 13,000 percent by end-2018. The IMF estimate is higher than all eight estimates from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Graphic: Bloomberg

By Mariana Zuñiga
12 March 2018

CARACAS, Venezuela (NBC News) – Antonio Perez, 73, a semiretired real estate agent, woke up at 5 a.m. to stand in line outside a bank to cash his monthly pension. His breakfast was a cup of coffee.

By the time he arrived, there were already 140 people there waiting to cash their checks as well. An average monthly pension trades at about $1.81 on the black market.

He continues to try to work, but last year was the worst of his career. He couldn’t sell a single property.

“We are barely surviving,” Perez said of himself and his wife. “If prices keep rising, I don’t know what we’re going to eat.”

As Venezuela’s economy crumbles, daily life has become a constant struggle, consisting of waiting in line for food and stretching a minuscule wage that each day buys fewer goods.

The country's monthly minimum wage of 1,307,000 bolívars — around $6.03 on the black market — is enough for two cartons of eggs, a kilo (about 2.2 pounds) of cornmeal and a box of pasta, or two liters of milk, four cans of tuna and a loaf of bread.

With extreme food shortages, hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. But even when food is available in stores, the average salary is not enough to feed a family.

Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserve and was once one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries. But as hyperinflation continues to rise to levels not seen anywhere in the world, money loses more and more value.

A woman walks past empty shelves at a supermarket in San Cristobal, Venezuela, on 16 January 2018. Photo: Carlos Eduardo Ramirez / Reuters

“El dinero no alcanza para nada” — money is not enough to buy anything — or “Todo está demasiado caro” — everything is far too expensive — are common phrases in Venezuela these days. […]

The Venezuelan government no longer publishes inflation data or forecasts, but the IMF projects that inflation will reach 13,000 percent this year. [more]

'Barely surviving': Amid soaring inflation, life is a daily struggle in Venezuela


  1. Anonymous said...

    This is a truly poorly researched article. Probably meant to engender emotion versus fact. If you read carefully, some of the food prices are lower then what I pay here in the US (but not all). But their wages are really terrible. And food availability is very poor.

    Supposedly, oil revenues were the source of food subsidies. But that does not explain the very poor wage situation. Or why Venezuelan oil sales are depressed (it's not just a "price collapse").

    The US has taken advantage of Venezuela, seeking to create chaos and collapse in the country to establish yet another Latin America puppet regime. THAT is the topic that should be exposed. But NBC and every other media outlet refuses to investigate the crime of the century.  


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