CARACAS, Venezuela: Prices are doubling every few weeks. Confounding cash-strapped Venezuelans who are scrambling to find a way to pay for basic transactions.
With an annual inflation rate now projected to be 10,00,000% Venezuela is experiencing extreme inflation.
“A Jesuit priest, Alfredo Infante, has turned to a novel formula to keep up with skyrocketing costs. He meticulously tracks the price of the humble egg. Six months ago, donations from one Sunday mass could buy 30 eggs for church events, he said. Now, he needs more than 50 Sundays to buy the same number of eggs”.
FROM WHERE THE PROBLEM IS ARISING:
- In Venezuela, the government can’t print enough bills or pay the hefty fees for commercial printers to supply them. Credit-card readers seldom work. This led the citizens to think for a solution.
- The International Monetary Fund estimates an economic contraction of 15%, which means that by the end of 2018 the economy will be half of what it was in 2013. And inflation will hit 13,000%.
- In the footsteps of Brazil, a slew of post-Soviet countries and, Zimbabwe,Venezuela has become the 57th recorded case of hyperinflation, according to Steve Hanke, a Johns Hopkins University economics professor.
- Central-bank data show the bolivar’s supply has risen 14-fold in the past 12 months. With Venezuelans spending the moment they get their hands on bills, existing notes need to be replaced every seven to nine months, compared with a six-year lifespan for the U.S. dollar bill, reported by people familiar with the government’s currency operations.
WHAT MARINE FERNANDEZ SAID:
Marina Fernandez, a professor of architecture at a Caracas university, has done, finding out that some people will take, yes, the humble egg. When she didn’t have enough cash to pay for parking, she handed over two eggs. Her university department, short of cash, paid a computer programmer with a carton of eggs. She said onions or bananas, for some reason, just won’t do. “If you’re going to receive food as payment, the people want it to at least be a protein,” she said. “The egg is perfect.”