Venezuela’s hyperinflation hits home hard

Global Business

Hyperinflation in Venezuela is pricing basic food and goods beyond the daily reach of most people.

CGTN’s Jaun Carlos Llamas report.

It’s Sunday morning at San Alberto Hurtado Church in La Vega slum in Caracas.

The sermon — about being thankful and sharing blessings —has particular meaning for the working class members of Father Alfredo Infante’s congregation.

“In 2014, when I got here, the donations from a Sunday mass were enough to buy 30 eggs, and I still had money left to buy other things”, said Father Alfredo. 

But now that money will not buy even a single egg.   Another parishioner, Flor Fluente, a school teacher said she can’t afford to take her children to the doctor, even if it costs less than a dollar, ” I had to ask for a loan to pay it because my monthly income was not enough.” 

For those living on a limited income, the situation is even more difficult.  Juana Estrada is a pensioner and said it has been ten years since she bought a pair of new shoes.  Her monthly pension buys her just a kilo of rice and a few eggs.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has increased the minimum wage 21 times since he came to power in 2013. But as wages rise, so do prices.

In the market, vegetable seller Daniel Linares is adapting to his customers’ needs. “I sell all my vegetables individually — for example one onion, one tomato or two sweet peppers. It’s cheaper like that, and at least for one day, some people will have something to eat.”

The International Monetary Fund estimates inflation levels in Venezuela will climb to almost 14,000 percent in 2018, along with a 15 percent fall in GDP.