CARACAS, Friday February 08, 2013 | Update
FOOD | Prices in January jumped 3.3%

Shortage soars 4.1% in January to 20.4%

The Central Bank of Venezuela reported that the inflation rate for foodstuffs advanced 5.3%

Scarcity in January moved up 25%, according to the Central Bank of Venezuela (File photo: M. Cifuentes)
Friday February 08, 2013  02:56 PM
The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) in Venezuela climbed to 3.3% in January, the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) reported. While this means a drop compared with December 2012 (3.5%), inflation in January is the third highest rate since April 2010.

As a result of such price acceleration, annualized inflation leapt to 22.2%, the highest rate since last May, when it stood at 22.6%. Likewise, the index points to the fourth month in a row in terms of acceleration of the annualized inflation from 17.9% in October 2012.

A breakdown of the items shows a 5.3% hike. It is worth mentioning that food and non-alcoholic beverages hold the largest share as part of the NCPI.

The item of restaurants and hotels ranked second at 4.2%, followed by health at 3.1% and entertainment and culture at 2.6%.

Soaring scarcity; diving diversity

The acceleration in the price index in January came together with increasing shortage, based on the related index prepared by the BCV for Caracas Metropolitan Area.

According to the official information, the shortage index climbed to 20.4% last month, that is, one out of five products sought by users in the markets could not be found.
Tuna and sardines are simply not there

The can of tuna, formerly a fairly normal pantry staple, has long been missing from stores in Venezuela, especially the domestic brands. When tuna cans, imported or domestic, do occasionally show up on store shelves, prices have increased several fold.

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