Venezuela says 2018 inflation 10 times lower than IMF estimates

AFP Caracas May 29, 2019, 12.07 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The central bank had stopped providing officials figures three years ago without giving an official reason, though it had already been holding back the amount of economic information it reported.

Venezuela ended 2018 with 130,060 per cent inflation, while the economy contracted 47.6 per cent between 2013 and 2018, the central bank said Tuesday in the first such figures it has released in three years. 

The data found inflation reached 274.4 per cent in 2016, 862.6 per cent in 2017 and 130,060 per cent in 2018 -- figures 10 times smaller than International Monetary Fund estimates of 1,370,000 per cent for last year.  

The IMF projects 10,000,000 per cent inflation for the oil-rich country in 2019.

The Central Bank of Venezuela also reported that oil exports -- which account for 96 per cent of the country's revenue -- plummeted to $29.8 billion in 2018, down from $85.6 billion in 2013 and $71.7 billion in 2014, when oil prices collapsed and the country's political and economic crisis began.

Oil prices have since rebounded, starting in 2016, but Venezuela's drop in production prevented a return to previous revenue levels -- the country was producing 1.03 million barrels of oil per day in April versus the 3.2 million barrels it produced per day a decade ago.

The central bank had stopped providing officials figures three years ago without giving an official reason, though it had already been holding back the amount of economic information it reported.