Venezuelan prices rise 1.7 percent in April

Por Venezuela Real - 6 de Mayo, 2008, 19:57, Categoría: Prensa Internacional

The Associated Press
Miami Herald
May 06,  2008

CARACAS, Venezuela --  Venezuelan consumer prices rose 1.7 percent in April, surging ahead despite government efforts to tame inflation in the oil-rich country.

Consumer prices increased by 8.9 percent in the first four months of 2008, Central Bank figures released Tuesday show. If that pace continues, Venezuela would end the year with 26 percent annual inflation, well exceeding the government's 20 percent target.

Annual inflation reached 29.1 percent in metropolitan Caracas in March, according to the Central Bank - the highest rate in Latin America. The bank, which adopted a new method for measuring inflation in cities across the country this year, has not yet released annual inflation figures for April.

President Hugo Chavez, a socialist, is pumping the country's oil income into massive public spending programs that last year helped to fuel 8.4 percent growth. He last week signed a decree to raise the minimum wage by 30 percent to US$372 (euro240) a month.

Planning Minister Haiman El Troudi said the nation is on the tail-end of a late-2007 inflationary spike and he predicted the rate would slow.

Chavez's government has imposed price controls on many basic foods since 2003, and on April 28 issued US$4 billion (euro2.6 billion) in bonds in a bid to soak up excess cash, strengthen the currency and stem inflation.
 





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