The purchasing power of the Venezuelan is annihilated, even if it were calculated in foreign currency.
An item that could be purchased with US$100 in January of last year required an additional US$69 in August, given a depreciation of the dollar, caused by the accelerated rate of inflation in the country, above the exchange rate.
The cost of the Family Food Basket has not stopped its increase, along with a new hyperinflationary process in the Caribbean nation, which closed with an accumulated 305.7%, according to the Venezuelan Finance Observatory (OVF), a private institution linked to the opposition.
The acquisition of 60 basic products to feed a family group of five people for a month became a luxury by the end of December, with an amount of US$485.06, according to studies by the Center for Documentation and Social Analysis of the Federation of Teachers (Cendas-FVM).
The Basic Basket, which in addition to including these same items, also contemplates others of equal need, such as those implemented for personal hygiene, public services, education, health, clothing and footwear, represents double the amount for food, which which would yield a figure of US$970.
The last price index for the Basic Basket was offered by the Documentation and Analysis Center for Workers (Cenda) in June of last year, located at US$669.70, which would translate into an increase of 44.9% compared to the current amount, close to US$1000 for a Venezuelan family of five people.
Since 2014, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) in Venezuela has not published data on the Food Basket.
Oscar Meza, director of Cendas-FMV, and who was previously in charge of Cenda explains that the measurement for it as well as the double corresponding to other essential expenses, determined since 1997 as a reference for salary increases, being changed in the reform of the Organic Labor Law under the term “basic needs”, has been used as a flag in the demands of the union groups, which are currently leading the main wage protests against the administration of Nicolás Maduro.
“What we call the cost of living can be specified as follows: US$100 per capita is needed to feed a family member and twice that amount for the basic expenses of a member, contained in a Basic Basket, so that depending on the number of members, it can be between US$800 and US$1,000″, he says.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan minimum income, which is around US$7, has not been increased since March of last year, despite the economic recovery that the country experienced, stagnating during the second semester, and in the case of the private sector, average wages they are located between US$126.8 for blue-collar personnel and US$307.5 for managers.
Although the OVF is not in charge of calculating the Basic Basket, it has established particular measurements of increase in the case of clothing and footwear, household equipment, rent, recreation, goods, services and transportation, which in December exceeded 50% each, already marking hyperinflation in these items.
With information from Bloomberg