Venezuelan national assembly says 12-month inflation at 3,600% in May


Caracas (AFP)

Venezuelan inflation over the last 12 months to May was 3,684 percent, the opposition-controlled National Assembly said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the legislative body said total inflation in May was 15 percent, compared with 80 percent in April.

Since the start of the year, prices have risen by more than 400 percent, but year-on-year inflation has actually come down from 4,210 percent in April.

"It's not a regression," said legislator Rafael Guzman, a member of the finance commission, blaming the numbers on "the fall in consumption" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to a lack of figures published by President Nicolas Maduro's government, the National Assembly has issued its own statistics since 2017.

The country's Central Bank did publish some figures on Monday, putting the monthly price increase at 38.6 percent, more than the assembly claims, and inflation since the beginning of 2020 at 296 percent, less than that given by the legislature.

Crisis-wracked Venezuela has been in recession for more than six years, and its currency has been pulverized.

At the end of April, the government increased the minimum wage by 78 percent, including mandatory food stamps. It was the second such rise this year, but the minimum wage still amounts to around $4, barely enough to buy a kilogram (two pounds) of meat.

Venezuela ended last year with inflation of 9,500 percent, according to the Central Bank, although the National Assembly put that figure at 7,300 percent.