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Venezuela: Piece of candy cannot cost more than a liter of gasoline

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Staff writer ▼ | February 19, 2015
Venezuelan Finance minister Rodolfo Marco Torres announced that "soon there will be important announcements on the issue of gasoline", underlining that "a piece of candy cannot cost more than a liter of gasoline".
Rodolfo Marco Torres
Solving problem   Finance minister Rodolfo Marco Torres
Gasoline is so heavily subsidized in Venezuela that one US cent buys about five gallons, costing the government as much as 12 dollars billion annually and spurring a lucrative business in smuggling fuel across the border to neighboring Colombia.

The announcement follows the release by the Venezuelan Central bank that the inflation rate reached 68.5% in 2014, the highest in Latin America, with consumer prices rising 5.3% in the month of December.

The Venezuelan economy officially entered recession half way through last year, and as well as high inflation, a fall in oil prices have added to Venezuelan woes.

The cost of living soared in items such as food, with increases that exceeded 100 percent. The bank did not offer an explanation for the annualized rate, which topped the 2013 rate of 56.2%.

The biggest increases in December came in food and non-alcoholic beverages with an increase of 7.5%, followed by restaurant and hotel service with a rise of 7.4%.