CARACAS, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Venezuela entered a recession in 2014, with the economy shrinking in the first three quarters, the Central Bank said on Tuesday, releasing long-awaited data in the OPEC nation.
In a statement, the bank said GDP contracted 4.8 percent in the first quarter, versus the same period of last year, then it fell a further 4.9 percent in the second quarter and shrunk 2.3 percent in the third quarter.
The statement added that 12-month inflation, which is the highest in the Americas, reached 63.6 percent in November.
The central bank statement, confirming an economic contraction widely forecast by analysts, came just before President Nicolas Maduro was about to start a news conference which he had said he would use to announce economic changes. (Reporting by Andrew Cawthorne and Diego Ore; Editing by Eyanir Chinea and Peter Murphy)