08:54 GMT +3 hours31 May 2016
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Storage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt

Venezuela's Annual Inflation Surpasses 180% in 2015 - Central Bank

© AP Photo/ Fernando Llano
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Venezuela's annual inflation rate passed the historic 180 percent mark in 2015, latest figures released by the Central Bank of Venezuela showed on Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Fourth quarter inflation in 2015 amounted to 34.6 percent, down from third quarter's 38.9 percent and bringing the annual figure to 180.9 percent, the Central Bank of Venezuela fourth quarter report said, quoting National Statistics Institute figures.

Venezuela's previous bout of inflation in the mid-1990s saw prices rise just over 100 percent annually. The historic record was surpassed in mid-2015.

While food and soft drinks, the hospitality sector and transport were the largest contributors to Venezuela's fourth quarter inflation with prices rising 42.2, 46.6 and 37 percent respectively, prices for alcohol, tobacco, clothing and education services all increased by over 30 percent. Prices for healthcare, domestic appliances and leisure services all increased just under 30 percent, with communications and rent appreciating 8.5 and 6.1 percent respectively.

In outlining macroeconomic disturbances, the report pinned the driving forces behind inflation to a deficit of consumer goods, falling imports and production, as well as plunging global oil prices. At the same time, Venezuela's economy shrank 5.7 percent last year, with the private sector contracting over eight percent.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced an increase in the price of gasoline from $0.01 per liter to $0.95 per liter and the devaluation of the national currency from 6.3 to 10 bolivars per dollar.

In January, Maduro declared an economic emergency in Venezuela. The announcement came two days after Venezuela’s oil price dropped to $24 a barrel, the lowest mark in 12 years. Up to 96 percent of Venezuela’s budget depends on oil revenues.

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inflation, oil prices, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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  • Beady-eyed Insomniac
    Have to admit to looking the other way - but what is happening? Venezuela has oil reserves the size of Saudi - are the global elite bringing her to knees for a take-over bid?
  • cast235
    This is all planned to happen.
    But the issue will be to turn Venezuela around. Increase in taxes, and use consumerism, to generate income . Difficult but not impossible.
    Venezuela is too dependent on imports. But special taxes could help "FEED THE DRAGON".
  • Mother Gorilla
    The country is being wrecked by its corrupt elite working for the US. Now that Chavez is gone, Maduro's days are numbered.
  • Mother Gorillain reply tocast235(Show commentHide comment)
    cast235, maybe, but the people have already lost faith in the revolution.
  • Mother Gorillain reply toBeady-eyed Insomniac(Show commentHide comment)
    Beady-eyed Insomniac, it may not even be the oil, but just the US implementing its imperialist scheme without any conscience.
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