Q24N – The Venezuelan economy has begun to reactivate. In supermarkets, which until recently had empty shelves, today you can find Pringles potatoes, Pantene shampoo and even Nutella.
According to The New York Times, the reason for this change is the informal dollarization of the economy.
The newspaper assures that around 70% of the transactions that are made in Venezuela today are in dollars, and almost all in cash.
With dollars there is everything, but everything is expensive. The average salary in that country today is US$120 a month; At the time when the dollar could be converted into bolivars with that money, you could shop for groceries with that for three months.
Now, with dollars in cash, it buys only enough for the basics: sugar, coffee, milk, and flour.
In recent years, millions – an estimated five million people, or over 15 percent of the population – have fled Venezuela. That translates into greater access to dollars in the country since many Venezuelans abroad send money to their families back home.
An improvised dollar economy is also not completely immune to hyperinflation. Prices are still going up, and they’re even higher now that they’re set in dollars
This makes it hard for many Venezuelans to afford everyday items. “If I buy a pair of socks, I can’t buy eggs,” Dilmary Rivas told the NY Times. “It’s like I traded one problem for another.”
That’s next to impossible under the political stalemate between Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, a president who is not recognized by the United States, and Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader recognized by Washington as interim president but who is struggling to stay relevant.
In the meantime, Venezuelans are condemned to continue finding unconventional ways to live in the often absurd lettuce-based economy.