Venezuela’s inflation rate just hit 830,000% — and is likely to keep rising


Inflation in the stricken South American nation of Venezuela hit an annual rate of 830,000% this year to October, according to new data released this week to the country’s parliament.

A report published by a coalition of opposition parties said the annual rate had almost doubled since in the month since the latest report was published. In the year to September, inflation stood at 488,000%.

Monthly inflation actually fell somewhat, with that figure falling to 147% in October from 233% in September.

This week’s figures may seem troubling, but things are set to get even worse for Venezuelans, with the International Monetary Fund arguing that the country’s annual inflation rate is likely to pass 1 million percent this year.

“The collapse in economic activity, hyperinflation, and increasing deterioration … will lead to intensifying spillover effects on neighboring countries,” the director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department said in a blog post in July.

Venezuela’s situation has drawn comparisons to the hyperinflation incidents seen in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s and in Weimar Germany after World War I.

Local economists, Reuters reports, also say hyperinflation could become even more aggressive in the final months of the year. That’s because public-sector workers are given bonuses ahead of the holiday season that could boost purchasing power and push the cost of goods up even more.

The data is the latest to suggest that measures introduced by the country’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, are failing to achieve their aims. Maduro announced a series of radical economic interventions over the summer that were designed to bring down inflation and stabilize the Venezuelan economy.

With the policies failing to have any real impact, the continued hyperinflation of goods means everyday items are unaffordable for many Venezuelans, and poverty and violence are widespread in the country.

News of Venezuela’s still-surging inflation rate comes just days after reports that the country has approached the Bank of England about getting back approximately 15 tonnes of gold bullion held in the UK.

Citing two sources with direct knowledge of the operation, Reuters said the plans related to recently announced sanctions by the US aimed at disrupting the South American country’s gold exports.

US President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order barring Americans from dealing with entities and people involved with “corrupt or deceptive” gold sales from Venezuela.