The Central Bank of Venezuela has released its first official inflation report since May, and the results point to why they were reticent for so long. The admitted price-level change of 63.4 percent, between August 2013 and 2014, exceeds that of any country in Latin America.
Acknowledged last week, it is also the worst rise seen by the socialist nation since the Central Bank of Venezuela began keeping the records in 2008.Also, always the same excuses;
The central bank report attributes inflation difficulties to anti-government demonstrations and a US-backed “economic war.” It asserts that saboteurs and speculators have slowed normal levels of production and the distribution of essential goods.Don't forget bad weather.
Though some think it's actually worse;
Steve Hanke, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University, says....that the Central Bank is drastically understating the severity of the situation: “The bank’s new inflation numbers are wrong. My estimate for Venezuela’s annual inflation rate is 138 percent.… more than double the official, reported rate.”Maybe ignoring it will make it go away?
However, aggressive price controls, particularly on the exchange rate, mean Venezuelans also have to grapple with chronic shortages. The Central Bank has refrained from releasing such data since January, when it showed a scarcity rate of 28 percent. Steve Hanke says such silence on the matter is “More evidence that the government just stops reporting official data, when it doesn’t like the results.”Where have we seen this before?