Living with explosive inflation = Venezuela

How much things cost in Venezuela now

Everett Rosenfeld | @Ev_Rosenfeld
Friday, 6 Feb 2015 | 2:32 PM ET

Inflation and long lines at Venezuelan supermarkets

Venezuelans have become increasingly frustrated by food shortages and inflations, reports CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.

The value of Venezuela’s bolivar is falling, and locals are paying more and more for goods.

There have been reports of a 36-unit pack of condoms selling for the equivalent of about $750 as the country struggles with major shortages in all manner of products. Still, according to data from crowd-sourced cost-of-living site Expatistan, inflation is not affecting all items equally. Read More › Venezuela’s future? ‘Barbarity and people looting’

For example, Expatistan’s data show a tube of toothpaste in Caracas costs 28 bolivars ($4.48), while it averages $2.50 in New York—a difference of about 79 percent. A box of 32 tampons, meanwhile, has a 143 percent difference (approximately $17 in Caracas and $7 in New York).

On Tuesday, Venezuela said it seized control of 35 supermarkets belonging to one chain that the government accused of hoarding food in order to incite public anxiety. The country also arrested two executives from a major drug store chain because of shortages. Global economists and regional experts are in near universal agreement that it is in fact failed government policies that are to blame from Venezuela’s economic and financial problems.

That said, some items are actually cheaper in Caracas: Four rolls of toilet paper average 30 bolivars ($4.77) while the average cost in New York is $4.83.

Read More › Venezuelan oil deal leaves Caribbean nations in the lurch

And—as might be expected given the heavy subsidies from the government—gasoline is significantly cheaper in Venezuela, costing an average of 1.79 bolivars (28 cents) for 1 liter, compared with about 57 cents in New York ($2.25 a gallon).

But most consumer goods are much more expensive in Caracas than would seem imaginable in the United States. Below are some of the most stark differences in prices. (Assuming an official exchange rate of $0.15748 per bolivar.)

Everett Rosenfeld

Staff Writer

About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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