From Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge:
Spiking prices and widespread shortages for even staples have driven discontent in Venezuela. That helped spur the opposition to gain control of Congress for the first time in a decade as President Nicolas Maduro attempts to turn the tide of what he has deemed an “economic emergency.”
“A lack of hard currency has led to scarcity of intermediate goods and to widespread shortages of essential goods — including food — exacting a tragic toll,” Werner said. “Prices continue to spiral out of control.”
According to the latest IMF estimate, Venezuela’s consumer inflation, already the world’s highest, will triple this year to a level above all estimates from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
This is because the IMF, which until recently had predicted “only” 204% inflation for Venezuela, already higher than the 140% consensus, revised its numbers and now sees a mindblowing 750% hyperinflation in 2016: this means that the average price of products and services will increase over eight times over the span of the next 12 months.
Bloomberg reports that inflation will surge to 720 percent in 2016 from 275 percent last year, according to a note published by the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Director, Alejandro Werner. That’s nearly quadruple the median 184 percent estimate from 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, and exceeding the highest forecast of 700 percent from Nomura Securities.
Venezuela’s central bank published economic statistics Jan. 15 for the first time in a year, confirming that inflation had reached triple digits and closed the third quarter at 141.5 percent on an annual basis. As of December 2014, the last time data was released, inflation was 68.5 percent.
It has gotten so surreal, that the local central bank accused websites that track the dollar’s street value of “destroying prices” and installing a “savage” form of capitalism in the country, adding that 60 percent of inflation was the result of currency manipulation.
Whatever the cause, the reality is that real inflation is even worse, and when charted, this is what the death of a sovereign nation looks as follows (this does not assume a sovereign bankruptcy; when that happens the hyperinflation will really take off):