The economy gets worse by the day:
Venezuelan Inflation Surges
Inflation in Venezuela reached a new milestone Tuesday: Prices measured on a yearly basis are now rising at the fastest rate since the late President Hugo Chávez took power in 1999.
The annual inflation rate in June registered at 39.6%, the highest 12-month figure since the central bank introduced a new methodology for its Consumer Price Index in 2008.
That’s the official rate; Johns Hopkins economics professor Steve Hanke has inaugurated The Troubled Currencies Project,
For various reasons — ranging from political mismanagement, to civil war, to economic sanctions — some countries are unable to maintain a stable domestic currency. These “troubled” currencies are associated with elevated rates of inflation, and in some extreme cases, hyperinflation. Often, it is difficult to obtain timely, reliable exchange-rate and inflation data for countries with troubled currencies.
To address this, the Troubled Currencies Project collects black-market exchange-rate data for these troubled currencies and estimates the implied inflation rates for each country. The data and estimates will be updated on a regular basis. A current snapshot is presented in the table below. A time series of these data can also be viewed in graphical form by clicking on the corresponding tab for each country at the bottom of this page.
As you can see at the Project table, Venezuela’s implied annual inflation rate tops 240%, and the value of the Bolivar has gone off the cliff. Additionally,
The central bank’s scarcity index, a measure of products missing from store shelves, eased in June, registering at 19.3%, after hitting record levels in recent months. The scarcity index soared to its highest levels in April at 21.3%, before declining to 20.5% in May.
Which brings us to the subject of runaway spy Edward Snowden, who clearly hasn’t been reading professor Hanke’s work. Just yesterday Glenn Greenwald reported that
Nicaragua and Bolivia have also said they would accept Snowden but Venezuela is better poised “to get him safely from Moscow to Latin America and to protect him once he’s there,” Greenwald told Reuters. “They’re a bigger country, a stronger country and a richer country with more leverage in international affairs.”
On their part,
The Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow said it had no information on whether the fugitive NSA leaker had completed a deal that would allow him to leave the transit area of an airport in the Russian capital.
I guess Putin hasn’t put the finishing touches on getting Snowden out of the country.