Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro embraced the currency of his bitter rival the United States on Sunday, calling it an “escape valve” that can help the country weather its economic crisis amid U.S. sanctions aimed at forcing him from power.
The exodus of Venezuelans is on track to reach 5 million people, as pressure grows on neighboring countries to provide them with long-term support, United Nations and European Union officials said on Wednesday.
Venezuela’s central bank announced a devaluation of more than 99% of its official exchange rate with the launch of a new foreign exchange platform, a move critics quickly said would not create a functioning currency market.
The extreme volatility of Venezuela's exchange rate has the crisis-hit country's shop owners hurriedly marking up their merchandise and consumers balking at the higher price tags. Just last week, the Bolivar currency fell around 70% on the black market, according to DolarToday, the opaque U.S.-based website that dictates the black market rate.
Street protests in Venezuela claimed at least two more fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people killed to more than 30 in several weeks of unrest. Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets as president Nicolas Maduro began the process of overhauling the country's constitution -- a move that has raised the stakes in a bitter standoff between Maduro's government and a growing opposition.
The World Bank has slashed its 2016 global growth forecast to 2.4% from the 2.9% estimated in January, due to stubbornly low commodity prices, sluggish demand in advanced economies, weak trade and diminishing capital flows.
Pope Francis has sent a “personal letter” to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in which he addresses his concern over the “seriousness” of “the county’s situation”, revealed papal spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed to journalists this weekend.
Latin America and the Caribbean will post an overall 0.5% economic contraction in 2016, the International Monetary Fund forecast in its latest report, capping the region's worst two-year period since the 1982 debt crisis. But the IMF said the region is expected to rebound to 1.5% growth in 2017, avoiding the lost decade phenomenon that marked the 1980s.
Venezuela’s consumer inflation, already the world’s highest, will more than double this year surging to 720% in 2016 from 275% last year, according to a note published by the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Director, Alejandro Werner.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government has decreed a 60-day economic emergency for the recession-hit OPEC nation reeling from low oil prices and a sputtering state-led economic model. The government on Friday also published the first macroeconomic data for more than a year, showing GDP dropped in the third quarter while inflation surged.