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VENEZUELA-ECONOMY/WIDERIMAGE
RTR48O5R
October 02, 2014
A box of 36 coloured pencils as photographed in a studio with an illustrative price tag of $115 (US dollars),...
Caracas, Venezuela
A box of 36 coloured pencils as photographed with an illustrative price tag of $115 in Caracas
A box of 36 coloured pencils as photographed in a studio with an illustrative price tag of $115 (US dollars), equivalent to the Bs. 725 (bolivars) that it costs on average to purchase in Caracas at the official exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar, in Caracas September 29, 2014. Venezuela's economic crisis has led to some shocking and surreal price distortions that hit people's buying power dramatically. While the government of President Nicolas Maduro calls the country's minimum wage of Bs. 4,252 the highest in the region when converted to $675 using the official exchange rate, the galloping black market for currency considers it as just $42.50 when converted at the street rate of Bs. 100 per US dollar, the rate which many importers and retail outlets must use to acquire hard currency. Venezuela's annual inflation rate of more than 63 percent is the highest in the Americas, according to official statistics. Picture taken September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins (VENEZUELA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 05 OF 18 FOR WIDER IMAGE PACKAGE 'VENEZUELA'S SURREAL PRICES'
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