Venezuela Raises Monthly Minimum Wage for Sixth Time in 2018

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro ordered a 150 percent increase in the monthly minimum wage, the sixth hike this year, to 4,500 sovereign bolivars from 1,800.

The increase will go into effect Dec. 1, while the price for the Petro cryptocurrency will rise from 3,600 sovereign bolivars to 9,000, Maduro said on state television. The minimum wage is pegged to the Petro price. At the black market rate, the new minimum wage comes out to $9.50 per month.

Venezuela is in the midst of its worst-ever economic crisis, with acute shortages of food and medicine, and an annual inflation rate of 199,900 percent, according to Bloomberg’s Cafe Con Leche Index.

With this increase, Maduro has raised the minimum wage 25 times since he took office in 2013, including an August increase to 1,800 bolivares.

“The arrival of Christmas is very exciting, so this corrective measure comes as a gift for large working families,” Maduro said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.