Mired in a brutal economic collapse, Venezuela refuses to publish basic statistics.
So Bloomberg created their own gauge to measure one of the most important of all the missing figures – inflation (or hyperinflation in this case).
Bloomberg explains that, as the name would suggest, it tracks just one item: a cup of coffee served piping hot at a bakery in eastern Caracas. Its price has jumped to 75,000 bolivars from 1,800 bolivars over the past 12 months, an increase of 4,067%.
As we noted previously, the printing press simply cannot save the country from a death spiral, but it doesn’t mean Maduro is prepared to let go of power. He has maintained that Venezuela’s problems are due to economic warfare being waged by the United States to topple the oil-rich socialist regime.
Bremmer Rodrigues, who runs a bakery on the outskirts of Caracas, said his family are at a loss over what to do with their bags of bills. “It’s a mountain of cash, every day more and more.”
The shrinking value of the currency has meant that withdrawing the equivalent of $5 from an ATM produces brickloads of bills. Some ATMs now need to be refilled every few hours, because the machines can only hold so much cash. This means there are often a limited number of functioning ATMs in Caracas, and long queues to withdraw money.
But the wheelbarrows-full of bills have meant paying for everyday groceries has changed in the socialist utopia.
Having thrown in the towel on hyperinflation by printing banknotes with 200-times-higher denominations, we noted previously that things in Venezuela have continued to get worse with the currency now so devalued (with even simple purchases requiring so many bills) that instead of counting bills, they are weighing them.
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