Saturday, August 13, 2016

Venezuela raises minimum wage by half against inflation

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Friday that the country's minimum monthly wage will increase by 50 percent from Sept. 1.

This move comes at a time of economic difficulties and raises Venezuela's minimum monthly wage to 22,576 bolivars (2,257 US dollars), for a total monthly sum of 65,056 bolivars (6,505 dollars), which includes an increase to the indexed food bonus.

The hikes came as a measure to protect incomes from high inflation, which reached 181 percent in 2015 according to official data. The International Monetary Fund has estimated the inflation rate could reach 480 percent in 2016 and 1,600 percent in 2017.

"This is the third (minimum wage) hike this year," Maduro said during a broadcast on the state-owned Venezolana de Television.

This is also the 14th of its kind since Maduro took office in 2013.

The oil exporter has seen its economy decline since the fall of oil prices in 2014..

A shortage of food and other basic daily life supplies has forced the Venezuelan government to allow Jamaica to pay its oil debts with food.

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