These Images Show How Basic, Everyday Products In Venezuela Are Ridiculously Expensive

Prices in Venezuela keep going up and up. The annual inflation rate soared to 63.4% in August, according to the latest figures published by the central bank.

Meanwhile, the country is plagued by food and good shortages and the local currency, the Bolivar (Bs), has plummeted under the regime of President Nicolás Maduro.

To capture Venezuela’s economic crisis, Reuters photographer Carlos Garcia Rawlins photographed basic items — like a towel or a can of cola — and price-tagged them as if they were sold in US dollars at the official rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar.

“My aim was to demonstrate how Venezuela’s currency controls and runaway inflation — the annual rate is more than 63%, the highest in the Americas — are distorting the economy,” Rawlins said on the Reuters photographers’ blog. See the illustrations here, then head over to the blog to learn more about how Rawlins created this project.

The Venezuelan government calls the country's minimum wage of Bs 4,252 per month the highest in the region.

This converts to $US675 per month, using the official exchange rate.

But the black market rate -- the real price you'll pay -- is Bs 100 to $US1.

Importers and retailers use the black market rate, enforcing the devaluation of the Bolivar.

On the black market, the minimum wage of Bs 4,251 is only worth $US42.50.

That means you could spend nearly $US800 on a pair of jeans.

Or $US5.56 for a can of Coke.

Even a Big Mac would cost $US15 at street price.

With $US528 for a 5-gallon bucket of paint, how much would it cost to repaint your room?

A new set of tires costs $US3,000 or more.

A 50 lb. bag of dog chow would cost $US212?

That is almost $US3.20 per pencil.

A basic towel costs $US136.

But that looks like nothing compared to the cost of a hair dryer -- almost $US700.

This Samsung LCD TV costs a staggering $US5,476.

Here's another way of capturing the economic crisis in Venezuela.

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