You'll Never Guess How Much A Dozen Eggs Cost In Venezuela Right Now
Analysts at the International Monetary Fund predict that inflation will reach a staggering 720 percent in Venezuela this year. Local economic analysts, on the other hand, say that's a hopeful guess, predicting instead the inflation rate will reach nearly double that at 1,200 percent.
But how does that translate into everyday life exactly? To put things into perspective, a dozen eggs in Venezuela will set you back a whopping $150 at the official exchange rate. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Venezuela's economy depends on steady global oil prices for the majority of its foreign currency, and the recent drop in global oil prices spells big trouble for the country as a whole. Your average working adult who makes 27,000 bolivars a month -- or $2,700 a month at the official exchange rate of 10 bolivars per US dollar -- for example, will spend nearly his or her entire paycheck on groceries alone.
But getting those groceries is no easy tasks. Government-run groceries typically offer the best prices since they're regulated, but shopping there means getting in line the night before. And if the supply has been depleted by the time you reach the front of the line, there's nowhere left to turn save for the illegal street vendors known as bachaqueros.
Maria Linares, a 42-year-old single mother, is feeling the pain and often has to visit five or six stores to get the basic supplies she needs. Since prices have increased, Linares says she's barely been able to support her two children. As she told the LA Times,
The last time we had chicken was in December... Now we are feeling hunger. I don't know what I'll do if prices keep going up.