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Venezuela Annual Inflation Rose 27.6 Percent In 2012

01/ 5/12 05:32 PM ET   AP

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CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's Central Bank says the country finished the year with 27.6 percent inflation, the highest in Latin America.

The oil-producing nation has had the highest inflation in the Americas for six years running. Inflation in 2010 was similar at 27.2 percent.

Venezuela had the second-highest official inflation rate in the world as of November, surpassed only by Ethiopia's 31.5 percent.

President Hugo Chavez's government and the Central Bank both predict inflation of between 20 percent and 22 percent this year.

But analysts say inflation could rise above 30 percent, influenced by an expanding money supply and heavy government spending.

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Filed by Harry Bradford  |