Venezuela’s inflation slows to 234% in 2022, vice president says

CARACAS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Inflation in Venezuela hit 234% in 2022, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Monday, representing a slowdown from the previous year, as the South American country struggles with a deep and lengthy economic crisis.

Rodriguez provided the inflation rate during a meeting with Turkish and Venezuelan business leaders. Venezuela’s central bank infrequently publishes economic data, and has not given inflation data since October.

For months, socialist President Nicolas Maduro and his government was able to keep a lid on consumer price inflation with rigid economic policies, including anchoring the exchange rate, limiting public spending and increasing taxes.

But the strategy has shown cracks since November, sources have told Reuters, with prices rising quickly as the country’s bolivar currency depreciates against the U.S. dollar.

Government spending has also sped up and demand for dollars is outpacing the central bank’s foreign currency reserves.

A group of economists said earlier this month that Venezuela was at risk of reentering a period of hyperinflation.

Inflation in 2021 was more than 686%, according to the country’s central bank.

Reporting by Mayela Armas; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle and Paul Simao

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