Venezuela 2014 inflation hits 68.5 pct -central bank
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CARACAS Feb 13 (Reuters) - Venezuela's inflation rate reached 68.5 percent in 2014, with consumer prices rising 5.3 percent in the month of December, the central bank said in a statement on Friday.
The biggest increases in December came in food and non-alcoholic beverages with an increase of 7.5 percent, followed by restaurant and hotel service with a rise of 7.4 percent.
The bank did not offer an explanation for the annualized rate, which topped the 2013 rate of 56.2 percent.
President Nicolas Maduro says inflation and shortages of consumer products are the result of an "economic war" led by unscrupulous businesses seeking to undermine his socialist administration.
His adversaries say it is the result of the central bank vastly expanding the money supply and a steady decline in the productivity of local industry because of a wave of state takeovers.
Monetary liquidity, the principal measure of the money supply, grew 65 percent in 2014, according to central bank figures. (Reporting by Deisy Buitrago. Writing by Brian Ellsworth. Editing by Andre Grenon)
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