Hyperinflated Arepa Index (HAI) X: One year, 441% rise

November 17, 2015


Today is November 17th. It was exactly one year ago that I went to my favorite arepera and surprised at the sudden rise of my also favorite arepa con queso de mano, pictured above, that I decided to start keeping records of the price in each of my visits.

Today, there are no graphs. They are not needed. One year ago, the arepa was Bs. 120. Today it was Bs. 650. That is a rise of 441.7% in twelve months (sorry, I had subtracted twice the 100%, one in the spreadsheet and one in my mind*). Absolutely depressing…

There is little that I can say positive about this. At least, scarcity did not hit my arepa directly and I was able to eat it each time I went. Tonight’s was particularly delicious, the guy heard me when I asked for the “mas tostadita” (the darkest one) one and, as you can see, the filling was quite generous too. Depressingly enough, the tip I gave him was almost the price of the arepa one year ago. At least he deserved it for his service…

*How did I do that? Easy, I did not look at the spreadsheet cell which already subtracted the 100% and thought it was the ratio, rather than the actual calculation, thus I subtracted it twice, one in the cell, the other mentally.


39 Responses to “Hyperinflated Arepa Index (HAI) X: One year, 441% rise”

  1. Arielle Says:

    I’m a music lover, sing and play for fun myself….
    so this tale makes me personally laugh.

  2. JAU Says:

    If you take the exchange rate of the dolar from dolartoday.com. You get the following exchange rates:

    November 17, 2014 BS/USD 121.22.
    November 17, 2015 BS/USD 857.58

    Another proof that the Arepa, or la cesta basica, cannot keep with the dollar and/or the inflation!.

    I do believe that Chavistas will lose big on december 6th, supermajority big!

  3. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    How many minimum salaries for 1 Pollo horneado con salsita de los Hermanos Rivera?

  4. Roger Says:

    I think its spreading. The Areparia here gets 9.50USD for one and their not that good. For that I can pig out on Mexican food.

  5. mercedes atencio Says:

    Yo quiero esa arepa!!!!!

    • bob Taylor Says:

      Glad I never got into eating arepas. I go to Jumbo centre in Porlamar and the Chinese there gives a plate of special rice with fresh brocolli,four chicken pieces and sweet and sour sauce for 340 ! Yesterdays price…Seems better value….Still I’m English !hehe Keep up the good work !

      • I didnt know there was chinese in Porlamar, last time I was there, I felt like an alien going to a new world… like people have never seen a chinese before….. it used to be like that early 2000s in venezuela, but now there are so much chinese in venezuela, im not special any more 😦 lol…

      • M Rubio Says:

        At 340 bs per plate, I’d be suspicious of those 4 pieces of chicken. Honey, have you seen the cat?

  6. Carolina Says:

    Sorry. Not reading. I can’t take my eyes off the queso.

  7. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    What’s amazing is that the minimum salary must be rising faster faster than any arepera in Vzla. That, or people are eating plain rice and eggs from their own ranchito chickens. Then again, the areperas are full, no? How do they even stay open for business speaks volumes about the uncanny ability of our pueblo to kill tigritos, and make lots of extra cash from mysterious sources..

  8. Mariano Velez Says:

    Miguel will be sued for promoting and advertising a precio justo internacional of the arepa

  9. moctavio Says:

    Bpught my first house on credit in 1980 for 750,000 Bolivars in Los Teques. The arepa will soon cost that.

  10. captainccs Says:

    Un marrón grande went from 50 cents in 1960 to 70,000 today, that a 24% rate of inflation. But the price was still 50 cents when Viernes Negro happened. Since then the inflation rate is 44.8%. But the inflation rate is even higher for Chavismo. And even higher for Madurismo.

  11. captainccs Says:

    The arepa didn’t rise at all, it’s the same old delicious arepa it always was, the same arepa that existed before this idiotic revolution came about.

    What happened is that this idiotic revolution keeps on destroying the currency. For Bs. 650,000, the current price of the arepa, I could have bought a mansion back in 1960 when I started working for Bs. 800 a month.

  12. IslandCanuck Says:

    I keep records of prices dating back to Jan. 2011
    Here are some reresentative prices since Jan. 2015

    Coffee 500 gr Bs.240 to Bs.600 scarce increase 150%
    Milk 1 lt long duracion Bs.30.20 to Bs.417 scarce increase 1,281%
    Coca Cola 2 lt. Bs.62 to Bs.190 available increase 206%
    Sliced cheese kg. Bs.490 to Bs.2070 available increase 322%
    Detergent 5kg. Bs.400 to Bs.1350 black market increase 238%
    Bread Holsum 500gms Bs.108 to Bs.Bs.440 available increase 307%
    Eggs dozen Bs.144 to Bs.480 scarce/black market increase 233%
    Margarine 500 gm Bs.29 to Bs.145 scarce increase 400%
    Rice kg Bs.45 to Bs.200 black market increase 344%
    Chicken muslos kg. Bs.130 to Bs.660 available increae 408%
    Beef – 1st quality kg. Bs.450 to Bs.1700 available increase 278%
    Beef 2nd & minced kg. Bs.230 to Bs.1100 scarce increase 378%
    Toilet paper 12pack Bs.200 to Bs.1875 black market increase 838%
    Shampoo 400ml Bs.75 to Bs.350 black market increase 367%
    Arturos Chicken fast food 3pcs Bs.315 to Bs.1350 available increase 329%
    Tomatoes kg. Bs.203 to Bs.695 available increase 239%
    Onions kg. Bs.100 to Bs.425 available increase 325%

    These are just a few examples of a more extensive list.
    The problem with my original list is that many products are just not available any more so I can’t determine an overall inflation increase.
    I also chose items that are common to most shopping carts.
    I left out things like alcohol & cigarettes.

    These prices apply to Margarita Island and may be different in other parts of the country.

    • Maria Odette Says:

      Thank you for posting this fellow Canuck. It just confirms the distortion between what is on paper and what people are living. Question, if I may, yo no tengo cedula, Normally when we go shopping I gave my passport number paid with my debit card from a local private bank ( opened in the 70s ) and that was just fine. Now, with all the restrictions, is there anywhere on the Island where he can buy food without a cedula? I’m worried, my husband is going down in Mid Jan. alone again, and I’m concerned he will have problems restocking the kitchen. Any heads up is greatly appreciated.

      • IslandCanuck Says:

        As far as I’m aware he can use his passport to buy controlled goods at larger supermarkets like Sigo but in truth we hardly ever buy controlled goods that way. I don’t do colas.

        Once he’s here he’ll find ways to get some products through friends or other contacts.

        The biggest problem right now is having sufficient cash to do the shopping if he doesn’t have a debit card. Our normal Sigo bill these days is close to Bs.20.000 which is 200 Bs.100 bills. I have guests staying with us now and getting them cash is a large problem.

        • Maria Odette Says:

          Thanks Canuck, 2013 It cost me 5.200,00 to restock well the kitchen( olive oil, Ice-cream Lomito etc) Hubby will not do Colas for anything @all. Hence the problem when they changed the banking sys. They want to send you a mssg to your mobile. Hubby did not stand in line, had problems getting new phone pre-pago and now I cant move anything around up here. It took 3 trips with friends to digitel/movilnet even tried movistar no phones available… ( I will not send him down with an android-thats just looking for trouble) everything is a cola or takes a week to find out there is no way around it. The only regulated product would be pasta, being he is Italian & bread. Other items, if not confiscated @airport I will send down with him. The exchange is getting harder to get. I have been dealing with friends & family only (and I never ask the going rate-they get me what they can-hones people do still live there) but my bills there are now paid until end 2016 with very few Canadian$ even with Hyper inflation – so sad to watch this in slow motion. We will see this turn around – thats my mantra:)

  13. Paul Esqueda Says:

    “According to the Fair Prices Act, La Superintendencia Nacional para la Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconómicos (SUNDDE) will proceed to shut down the Devil’s favorite arepera immediately” Twitter from @madurorotten

  14. David Says:

    The new price is 541% of the old price – an increase of 441%.

    Sorry to be fussy but I would hate to see you adopt Chavista arithmetic!

    How the clown Arreaza has calculated “precios justos” to two decimal places is beyond reason. Similarly, Madburro’s idea that you can calculate a meaningful view that oil is currently worth $80 a barrel is dangerous fantasy.

    The sooner these cretinous criminals are kicked out the better but the transition to better days will be very difficult.

  15. Bruni Says:

    Hard to believe that with all scarcities in CCS you end up with such an amazing arepa..con ese montón de queso de mano!!!! It must be worth it every penny!

  16. Arlington, VA Says:

    Tonight I paid the equivalent of 7300 BsF for an Arepa de Pabellon. Man, that was good!

  17. .5mt Says:

    Still, itn a good lookin samich.

  18. Ira Says:

    How come for more than a year now, you and everyone else that visits this site has strongly claimed triple-digit inflation in VZ…

    While every news outlet, as well as the most respected economic organizations out there, have only started admitting hyper-inflation like a MONTH ago. Seriously, think about it:

    It’s only been like a month where you started seeing these hyper numbers everywhere.

    But today, they’re still only admitting to mid-100% numbers (125% to 150%, for example), whereas 341%, I believe, is a lot more!

  19. Maria Odette Says:

    I had thought it would close at 280% this year…& we have 6 weeks to go. WOW, chit-wow

    • Maria Odette Says:

      Just out of curiosity, using your figures.
      (650.00-120.00)=530.00/120.00=4.416×100=441.666% The older the base year, the worse it gets. I have been using my Condo bills & a restaurant bill from March of this year to try & extrapolate the %

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