Venezuela’s National Assembly: Inflation Could Be Over 10,000 Percent In 2018

Venezuela’s National Assembly has revealed that the inflation for 2017 was 2,616 percent. But the numbers could be a lot worse this year as they estimate that inflation could be more than 10,000 percent.

Jose Guerra, economist and opposition lawmaker, explained in a press conference that the inflation is out of control due to the printing of currency by the Central Bank to finance the deficit of the government. He added that 70 percent of the deficit of the Venezuelan government was financed with printed currency.

Hyperinflation and Estimate

Mr. Guerra also said that the inflation last month alone was higher than the accumulated inflation of all Latin America during 2017. The opposition lawmaker also went on to explain that inflation is much different from hyperinflation because inflation is normal. He says hyperinflation is unbearable and can leave a country in ruins.

The Central Bank has not released numbers in years but the National Assembly has continued releasing the numbers to show just how bad the situation is in Venezuela. Mr. Guerra says the inflation could be more than 10,000 percent if the Central Bank keeps financing the government.

85 Percent Inflation In December

The government recently announced an increase of the minimum wage but the salary continues to be way behind what’s needed to meet the market basket. The minimum salary, which is the lowest in South America, is worth just a few dollars. In just one year, the Venezuelan government has announced six minimum wage increases.

Mr. Guerra told the EFE news agency that inflation was 85 percent for the month of December. He also said that in comparison to other hyperinflation cases seen in the continent, Venezuela’s case is not the worst yet but added that this year it could be.

IMF Estimate

Back in October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that inflation may go over 2,300 percent in 2018. The estimates from the National Assembly are much higher, meaning that the situation will be a lot worse this year.

The month of December was described by many Venezuelans as the worst Christmas they had ever lived. A lot of the population had to skip or change its popular Christmas dishes due to the high prices. There was also discontent among the population after not receiving the pork, food boxes and toys that the government had promised. The Venezuelan government later accused Portugal of sabotaging Christmas for failing to deliver pork imports.