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Venezuela’s Consumer Prices Probably Increased 19.9% in 2012

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Consumer prices in Venezuela rose an estimated 19.9 percent this year, less than the 27.6 percent increase recorded in 2011, the central bank said, citing preliminary figures.

Inflation slowed, in part, due to price controls enacted by the government, according to bank President Nelson Merentes’ end-of-year message dated today and posted on the bank’s website. Venezuela’s economy probably grew 5.5 percent in 2012, the bank said Dec. 27.

Venezuela sold $40.5 billion in foreign currency through November, up from $38.9 billion in the same period in 2011, the report said. The central bank said it sold $7.86 billion this year on its currency exchange known as Sitme. Imports increased to $56.4 billion this year from $46.8 billion in 2011.

Venezuela’s current account surplus narrowed to $14.57 billion from $24.6 billion in 2011, Merentes said, according to the report. Oil exports increased 4.7 percent to $92.2 billion.

Final economic numbers for the year are expected in January and February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Orozco in Caracas at jorozco8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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