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Caracas, Venezuela Is Most Expensive City In The Americas, Says Economist Intelligence Unit

View of a poster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas on January 4, 2013. Hugo Chavez's top aides have gone on the
View of a poster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas on January 4, 2013. Hugo Chavez's top aides have gone on the offensive, accusing the opposition and media of waging a 'psychological war,' as Venezuela's cancer-stricken president battles a serious lung infection. The closing of ranks followed a high-level gathering of top Venezuelan officials in Havana with Chavez, amid growing demands to know whether he will be fit on January 10 to take the oath of office for another six-year-term. AFP PHOTO/Leo Ramirez (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Caracas, Venezuela is the most expensive city in the Americas and the 9th-most expensive in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Venezuelan capital jumped 25 spots from last year, according to CNN. The report attributed the change to inflation and fixed exchange rates with the U.S. dollar.

Some observers may be surprised to see Caracas feature among the ten most expensive cities. Price volatility in the Venezuelan capital has certainly been strong—so strong, in fact, that official inflation reached almost 20%, while aggregate price movements in the survey were over 25% year on year.

A kilogram loaf of bread -- about 2.2 pounds -- goes for $9.40 in Caracas, making it the most expensive on the list.

Gasoline, on the other hand, is by far the cheapest in Venezuela, a major oil producer. A gallon of gas costs about $0.23 per gallon in Caracas, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit -- well below the $5.64 that people pay at the pump in Sydney, Australia, the next cheapest city on the list to buy gas.

Venezuela has experienced bread, chicken, cooking oil and other food shortages in recent years, according to the Associated Press. Some economists say the shortages stem from government price controls established in 2003 as a response to inflation, while the government blames business owners, AP reports.

The near future is likely to bring turbulent politics to the polarized country.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez hasn't been heard from since undergoing his fourth operation in Cuba for an unspecified form of cancer somewhere around his pelvis. Venezuelan officials appear periodically on television to say Chávez is recovering, without providing detailed information about his health.

Check out the world's most expensive cities in the slideshow below.

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Most Expensive Cities In The World 2013
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