Venezuela inflation so far this year at 93 percent: congress

FILE PHOTO: A cashier counts bolivar notes at a butchery in a public market in Caracas, Venezuela January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan inflation in the first four months of this year was at 92.8 percent, according to the country’s opposition-led congress.

The country is undergoing a major economic and social crisis, fueling daily protests between security forces and protesters lobbing rocks, petrol bombs and feces that are being met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Millions suffer from food and medicine shortages and the country’s inflation figure is thought to be the world’s highest, though no official data has been published for more than a year.

The bolivar currency is down more than 99 percent on the black market against the dollar since President Nicolas Maduro was elected to the presidency in 2013, meaning that $1,000 saved then would be worth less than $5 now.

Maduro blames the crisis on the opposition and U.S. government, and has raised the minimum wage twice this year. On May 1, it went up 60 percent to the equivalent of around a dollar a day on the black market exchange rate.

Venezuela’s National Assembly said Thursday that prices went up 16.5 percent between March and April.

The government blames the crisis on opposition coup-plotters, backed, it says, by the U.S. government.

Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Bernard Orr; Twitter: @ReutersVzla, @jammastergirish