Venezuela confirms major contraction in rare data release

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.

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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.