Venezuela Confirms Major Contraction

Venezuela Confirms Major Contraction

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's government has made a rare acknowledgement of the severity of the country's economic crisis by publishing the first economic data in nearly four years showing a severe contraction and soaring hyperinflation.

The central bank said Tuesday that the oil-rich economy contracted 22.5% in the third quarter of 2018 from a year earlier. It said inflation soared to 130,060%.

Opposition economists, and the International Monetary Fund, have put inflation figures even higher.

Some 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years as the economy has crashed amid a bitter fight over power between socialist leader Nicolás Maduro and his opponents.

Maduro's government has not commented on the data, which was published quietly Tuesday on the central bank's website.

(KA)