By Girish Gupta and Corina Pons CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s monthly inflation rate jumped to 33.8 percent in August, with food price rises reaching hyper-inflationary levels above 50 percent, the opposition-controlled National Assembly said on Thursday. The government stopped releasing the data more than a year ago amid a deep economic crisis, but the National Assembly has published its own figures since January. They are generally in line with private economists’ estimates. The latest month-on-month inflation figure was a jump from the 26 percent rise in prices reported in July. In the first eight months of 2017, prices rose a cumulative 366.4 percent, according to the legislative body. “Food is now in hyperinflation,” said opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado, adding that the food sector had seen price rises of 51 percent in August. Economists usually define hyperinflation as occurring when monthly rates exceed 50 percent. Millions of Venezuelans are suffering from food and medicine shortages as the oil producer struggles with an economic crisis that spurred months of nationwide unrest earlier this year. However, the protests have died down in recent weeks, with many in the opposition viewing them as fruitless after socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s government sidelined the National Assembly… Read full this story
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