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Venezuela inflation soars to 4,000% in 'death spiral'

Published: November 22, 2017
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Source: Money CNN

The country is spiraling further into a humanitarian disaster spurred by the government's economic policies, which have caused the currency, the bolivar, to plunge in value and prices to skyrocket. Food and medicine shortages have been reported across Venezuela.

The bolivar has lost 96% of its value this year. As of Tuesday, it took 84,000 bolivars to buy an American dollar. At the beginning of this month, a dollar was worth 41,000 bolivars. And at the start of this year, it only took 3,100 bolivars to buy a dollar, according to DolarToday, a website that tracks the unofficial exchange rate.

Related: Putin extends lifeline to cash-strapped Venezuela

Millions of Venezuelans look at DolarToday or another site, Paralelo Venezuela, to find out how much money they need to buy groceries -- if there's food on the shelves at all. The government's official exchange rate has been deemed meaningless.

Inflation in Venezuela has soared to 4,115% compared with a year ago, according to Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, who is an expert on hyperinflation. The crisis has deepened since the government defaulted on some of its debts.

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