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Venezuela's monthly inflation hits 3.2 percent, highest this year

Venezuela's monthly inflation hits 3.2 percent, highest this year

Consumer prices in Venezuela rose 3.2 percent in May _ the country's highest monthly inflation rate this year.
Prices increased by 12.4 percent during the first five months of 2008, according to Central Bank figures released Monday.
If inflation continues at this rate, it will close the year at about 30 percent _ even as first-quarter growth slowed to 4.8 percent, a four-year low.
President Hugo Chavez's socialist government has tried price and currency controls and raised some interest rates to try to hold down inflation, which is running at the highest pace in Latin America.
Annual inflation in metropolitan Caracas reached 29.3 percent in April, the latest figure available. The Central Bank adopted a new method of measuring national inflation this year _ incorporating smaller cities and making nationwide year-to-year calculations difficult.
Venezuela's May inflation rate is more than triple those of neighboring countries like Colombia and Brazil, which reported rates last month of less than 1 percent.
Caracas authorized price hikes on price-controlled items including chicken and corn flour last month to combat shortages. The Central Bank said that partly explains why inflation rose from 1.7 percent in April.
Inflation was also affected by high prices in the food and service sectors _ including restaurants, transport and health care.
Economist Asdrubal Oliveros, director of the private firm Ecoanalitica, said a 30 percent wage hike in May for those earning minimum wage or working in the public sector has also had an impact on soaring prices.
Oliveros said he is "very worried" about May's inflation level, which comes as the government is planning to make economic adjustments.
Chavez soon plans to announce a package of economic measures to boost growth, Information Minister Andres Izarra said last week. The president will also appoint a new finance minister to replace Rafael Isea, who is stepping down to run for a state governor's post.


Updated : 2021-04-10 20:31 GMT+08:00