Venezuela February inflation was lowest since 2014

Venezuela holds the title of highest inflation on the planet and, despite slowing inflation, many families in the country struggle to make ends meet

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The assistant of a bus driver holds Bolivar banknotes, worth between 0.01 and 0.25 US Dollars, after Venezuela's central bank announced it will cut six zeros from prices, in Caracas, Venezuela August 5, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

Venezuela‘s rate of consumer price inflation continued to fall in February to 2.9%, the lowest figure in eight years, the central bank said on Friday.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro has been making cuts to spending in the bolivar currency since the second half of last year in an effort to stabilize the bolivar-to-dollar exchange rate and reduce inflation.

The February figure takes 12-month inflation to 340.4%, according to Reuters calculations based on central bank data. Inflation was down from 6.7% in January, and has not been this low since February 2014.

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Despite slowing inflation, many families in the South American country struggle to make ends meet. Maduro on Thursday announced a jump in the monthly minimum wage to the equivalent of $29, from $1.60 previously.

Communications was the sector with the highest increase in February, at 23.1%, while education increased 17.5% compared to January.

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The government’s loosening of economic controls since 2019 has allowed foreign currency to circulate more freely and provided a measure of relief for some industries.

Venezuela holds the title of highest inflation on the planet, and throughout its history has had several phases of sky-high inflation. However, since Maduro took office in 2013, the country has reached 44 months of hyperinflation and eight years of recession.

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