Hyperinflated Arepa Index IX: Index Resumes Rise

October 5, 2015


We knew it would not last, and the Hyperinflated Arepa Index (HAI)  resumed its rise, jumping from Bs. 440 to Bs. 580 in the last month, for a 31.8% rise. With this rise, the HAI is up 283% since last November 17 2014, indicating that it will likely hit the 300% rise in its anniversary.

This is likely assured, given that in the next two months, monetary liquidity (M2) will rise somewhere between 15% and 20% as has been traditional when the Government pays its end of the year bonuses. This will put even more pressure on prices, including that of the parallel rate of exchange.


I inquired again about the drop last time with the owner, but he sort of evaded the question, saying again that they changed their invoices (???) but there was no real drop. The drop will remain a mystery for the time being.

29 Responses to “Hyperinflated Arepa Index IX: Index Resumes Rise”

  1. captainccs Says:

    Just back from a walk, bought some fruit from street vendors:

    3 medium avocados
    6 small tangerines
    7 bananas
    6 limes
    2 baguettes (canillas, bread)

    Total BsF 500, US$ 0.70

    With healthy eating and a healthy walk I probably saved $100 in doctors’ bills and got a “cambur de ñapa” (banana for lagniappe).

  2. Floyd Says:

    You can always eat fried rocks, apparently. These rulers will defend socialism no matter how many have to starve to death!



  3. Ira Says:

    Miguel, the way you eat those things when you visit, you’re probably driving up prices 2% all on your own!

    Supply and demand.

  4. M Rubio Says:

    Speaking of the end of the year, there’s a sudden uptick in supplies arriving in the pueblo. I imagine it’s the Chavistas trying to put lipstick on a pig and make everything as rosy as possible for the elections. I haven’t seen rice in months but tonight I’m going to buy 30 “pacas” at 50 bs per kilo. Rice on the open market trades at 300 bs per kilo right now. Once the elections are past, and with the end of the year looming, I’m betting things will be worse this year than ever, and they’re usually really bad from Dec – Feb.

    • RobertoN Says:

      There was an article in the press about 2 weeks ago announcing the arrival of 59,000 tons of food. This would dovetail with your seeing more foodstuffs on the shelves, courtesy of course of pre-election pig makeup.

      Food version of DAKAZO on the horizon if they’re not careful. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it 2 weeks before the election.

      • M Rubio Says:

        Rice and sugar now arriving in volume though none of it really makes it to the “shelves”. There’s usually a huge crowd of people waiting while the product is unloaded, the volume verified, and then sold at the door until the supply is exhausted. Doesn’t matter if the shipment arrives at 10 in the evening, the crowds come out of nowhere and demand the opportunity to buy.

        There’s now a daily crowd of a hundred or so who sit in the sun all day long in front of the local chinese market “in case” something arrives…..doesn’t matter what, just something, anything. Long lines form when a “caba” arrives even though they have no idea what’s in the truck.

        I take every opportunity I can when someone asks me my opinion about the situation to tell them I’ve traveled all over the world and that Venezuela is now on a par with many sub-Saharan African nations. This country is dying, little by little everyday, and yet no one seems upset about it.

        It seems most here believe there is such a thing as a free lunch. Socialism is tailor-made for the majority of Venezuela’s population.

  5. moctavio Says:

    Two theories:

    Need to make Bs. to pay end of the year bonuses by the end of the month

    Speculation since everyone knows it has to soar by mid-November

  6. Roy Says:

    Anyone out there have any theories about why the DT rate went from Bs. 830 to 742 in less than a week? Why the sudden demand for Bolivares?

  7. TV Says:

    Translation from the owner, you were probably overcharged for the arepa on or around 7/212015. That would explain just about everything, especially the apparent surprise drop.

    • M Rubio Says:

      Indeed. I don’t believe the drop either. The only time I’ve seen anyone willingly drop prices here is at the time of harvest to get rid of extra product quickly……corn in particular. Two factors are at work typically……the producer doesn’t have proper storage capacity and the harvest might get damaged, and-or he’s afraid the bank will show up and legally claim the crop to cover the loan that he owes but intends to default on.

      • moctavio Says:

        I belive they were pressured into lowering prices…

        • moses Says:

          Happens with Tomatoes if it rains when close to harvest, They get damaged (rot quicker) so they drop in price for several days …

        • TV Says:

          Maybe you have fans in Chavismo, and they told them to lower price especially for you =)

          Just be careful, it could be 9g treatment next time =(

        • Roger Says:

          Or, they scored a great Black Market buy, or, the guy in charge of raising prices went to the beach.
          Still wonder what they charge at a roadside stand outside of Caracas?

  8. pitiyanqui Says:

    I remember not long (3 months or so) after the bolivar fuerte was launched, flying in to Maiquetia. The rate, even then was ridiculously low at 2.15. I remember scoring 3.4 at the airport, since I needed to make alternate arrangements after my flight was delayed and feeling pretty good about it.

    Later, we were able to hit 3.8 in Merida, which was about as good as it happened to get that particular trip. I was particularly grumpy about, even with the parallel rate, how expensive a side trip to McDonalds was, and even worse, the $28 burger at La Nota.

    Oh my, how times have changed…that’d be a $150 arepa now.

  9. M Rubio Says:

    I went to the city the other day to buy a replacement bearing for one of the wheels of my plow. I figured it would run 8 or 10,000 bs. Nope. 42,000 bs. On the drive back I recalled buying a used, but very nice Fiat automobile in 2007 for 40,000 bs.

    The whole thing is just amazing.

  10. Paul Esqueda Says:

    I presume that the Venezuelan Government Dirt Lab is developing counter measures to block the Hyper-inflated Arepa Index developed by Micguel Arepackman 😉

    • Marco Says:

      In a policed state like Venezuela, the SEBIN and other repressive corps may be on the track of the arepera where This index is being based on. Publishing the photo of the receipt or indeed any clues that the dogs of SEBIN can sniff and lead to the identification of the arepera is making a disfavour to the unaware owner of this stablishment, which by the way has been cited by some economics as the only source of estimating the inflation index in Venezuela

      • moctavio Says:

        As you can see, it is impossible from the receipt to know where I had it. I was extremely careful in what I printed. I am not that stupid.

  11. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    Una familia venezolana de cinco miembros requiere de diez salarios mínimos para adquirir la llamada “canasta básica”


    por eso, y como no hay leyes, ni castigo, todos a robar:


  12. jaimerequena Says:

    Miguel Your HIA needs refinement. So far you have assumed that the amount of corn flour and chesse in the product is constant in time and that, I am afraid, it could prove to be an assumption. I suggest that next time take with you an electronic scale and proceed to diamble the arepa into its two basic constituients and weigh them…. I presumme that grams will suffice and that you do not need to go to miligrams. Once done that, please normaliza cost by weight and infor us of your finding.

  13. Charlie Says:

    The price increase for the month is actually almost 32%, from 440 to 580.

  14. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    Actually, it’s probably closer to 5 or 7 Million the people who work, one way or another, directly or indirectly with Chavismo’s putrid 35 “Ministries: Considering the private sector was utterly crushed, very few private companies still survive, and if they do, to get any contract, any business, selling any goods or services, in any industry, you are practically forced to bribe and/or accept bribes, vacunar o ser vacunado, everywhere, at all levels.

    Thus, the HAI index surges on, and people still buy lots of arepas.

  15. Carlo Caputo Says:

    Miguel, por los menos pudiste comer tu arepa. En el aereopuerto internacional Santiago Marinio de Porlmar, dos sitios de ventas de arepas,el arepazo y otro ,no venden ya arepas por faltas de harina pan, y a pesar del cierre de las fronteras… Saludos y un gran abrazo carlo​

  16. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    This HAI index, coupled with the “canasta basica” and “sueldo minimo” mathematically proves that the vast majority of the population still living in Kleptozuela is either grotesquely corrupt (3 Million public employees on 35 “Ministries), or “enchufados” in various ways.

    They all benefit from free gas, no taxes, virtually free transportation, even free utilities, free rent, water and electricity, somewhat free education, somewhat free health care.

    But even with all that, it just does not add up. Millions are Stealing, not just the “government”, at all levels and in many, many ways, not just “bachaqueando” or other “mordidas” and “tigritos”.

    No wonder people complain about Colas and lack of stuff to buy, more than lack of purchasing power. Malls are full, streets in Caracas are full, somehow. Playa sombrero? packed.

    But even the poor campesinos, the average workers (that can’t be fired and don’t work much, with their corrupt Unions).. whatver’s left of the “clase-media” and “clase-baja”.. they are much more often than not Enchufados, in one way or another. Mathematically.

    No wonder 20% still support Madurismo. And over 60% still Adores Chavez and Chavismo. Like Vargas Llosa just had the courage to say: THE most corrupt country on planet Earth, rotten at all levels of society, and more people than we like to think are involved in the Massive Guiso, leeching or stealing in numerous ways.

    To that extent, they deserve what they are getting. Not all, but most. 80%, at least.

    • Health care isn’t free in Venezuela. Try going to a public hospital for a back operation and check out what it’ll cost you.

    • oldsarg Says:

      I’ve read your blog for years. I’ve worried about what has been happening in your country and have prayed for the people. Now I worry about the US as I watch the same wave of marxist tear ours apart. I’m an sorry for the both of us.

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