August 6, 2018 / 4:25 PM / 2 months ago

Venezuela's annual inflation hits 82,766 percent in July: congress

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan consumer prices rose to 82,766 percent in the 12 months ending in July, a member of the opposition-run congress reported on Monday, as the OPEC nation’s hyperinflation continues to accelerate amid a broader economic collapse.

FILE PHOTO: A vendor receives Venezuelan bolivar notes in her stall at Las Pulgas market in Maracaibo, Venezuela July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

The government of President Nicolas Maduro stopped publishing economic indicators nearly three years ago as Venezuela’s socialist economic system started falling apart, making opposition legislators the only source of such figures.

The International Monetary Fund last month estimated that Venezuela’s consumer prices would rise 1,000,000 percent in 2018.

Inflation in July slowed slightly to 125 percent from 128.4 percent in June, according to opposition legislator Angel Alvarado.

Maduro, who was reelected in May in a vote that dozens of foreign governments described as rigged, is preparing to remove five zeroes from the country’s currency in an effort to keep up with inflation.

He insists the election was free and fair and says the situation is the result of an “economic war” led by the opposition and business leaders who are arbitrarily raising prices.

Reporting by Caracas newsroom; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Paul Simao

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