Venezuela’s Inflation – A Correction for Pater Tenebrarum

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

When it comes to the measurement and reporting of Venezuela’s inflation, the 95% rule reigns true—95% of what you read in the financial press is either wrong or irrelevant. Acting-Man.com’s Pater Tenebrarum fell victim to that dictum in his latest update on Venezuela of September 1, 2018, which was published in none other than Zero Hedge.

 

Tenebrarum states:

The most recent chart of Venezuela’s implied inflation rate we have found is as of August 19, shortly after the government introduced the ‘new’ bolivar. Since implied inflation stands at 61,670% as of August 30, it seems actually likely to us that a typo was made in the annotation and the chart refers to the situation as of August 29 rather than August 19. In any case, it is fairly current.

 

 

 

But, his mention of a typo is simply not true and generates nothing but questions and confusion. On August 19th, I tweeted the chart Tenebrarum used on my Twitter @Steve_Hanke, where I report upon Venezuela’s annual inflation rate on a daily basis.  Here’s the actual tweet Tenebrarum used:

 

My team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins—Cato Institute Troubled Currencies Project computes the implied annual inflation rate for Venezuela on a daily basis by using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) to translate changes in the VEF/USD exchange rate into an annual inflation rate.

 

If Tenebrarum had bothered to check my Twitter prior to publishing his article, he would have seen my tweet of September 1st, updating my followers on Venezuela’s inflation, marking the annual rate at 57,714%.

 

So, as I always tell my students, all research must be conducted with the utmost care and precision.

If not, error and confusion reign. Indeed, there was no typo.