CARACAS – Venezuela is ending 2017 with an annualized inflation rate of 2,000 percent, the opposition-controlled National Assembly said, adding that the figure was an indicator of “the biggest political, social and economic crisis in contemporary Venezuelan history.”
Opposition lawmaker Rafael Guzman said in an assessment of the economic situation published on Thursday by local media that the gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen 34 percent in the past four years.
The National Assembly, stripped of its powers by the Supreme Court and National Constituent Assembly, is the only branch of government held by the opposition and the only institution still publishing data on inflation and other economic indicators.
The government and Central Bank have not released economic indicators since 2015.
Venezuela, according to National Assembly estimates, skidded into hyperinflation in November, when the inflation rate was at 57 percent, seven points above the technical definition of that phenomenon.
“No other country in the region, no other country in the whole world shows such deterioration of the economy,” Guzman said.
Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate, followed in Latin America by Argentina which, with a rate above 20 percent, is still far from what is happening in the oil-rich Caribbean nation.
Inflation has been fueled by the Central Bank’s printing of money, the devastation of domestic industries and a drastic reduction in imports that has caused widespread shortages.