Venezuelan Inflation Slows to 10-Year Low of 59% Ahead of Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Annual inflation slowed to a 10-year low in Venezuela as the central bank intervenes to prop up the currency.

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Consumer prices rose 59% in May from a year earlier, the weakest pace since 2014, the bank said Friday. Monthly inflation eased to 1.5%, from 2% in April.

President Nicolas Maduro’s government has sought to help ease consumer price pressure by selling more dollars in the official exchange market and cutting expenses in local currency as he campaigns for a third consecutive term in the July 28 election.

This week, the president hailed cooling inflation as evidence his government is “walking the correct road.”

Venezuela’s annual rate still remains the highest in Latin America after Argentina, but is now far below its 2019 peak of more than 300,000%.

For at least four years, policymakers have spent dollars to prevent the bolivar from weakening too fast. The central bank spent nearly $140 million defending the currency last week, according to estimates by Caracas-based consulting firm Síntesis Financiera.

As inflation has cooled, the bank has resumed publishing monthly price data.

(Updates with chart.)

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