Venezuela reports 1.8 percent inflation in August

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The government of President Hugo Chavez is proudly reporting that inflation is slowing, but Venezuelans are still struggling with Latin America's highest rate of annual inflation.

Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez says monthly inflation dipped to 1.8 percent in August -- down slightly from 1.9 percent in July. Inflation hit 3.2 percent in May.

Rodriguez noted Thursday that consumer prices have dropped for three months in a row.

Meanwhile, central bank reported that accumulated inflation from January to August was 19.4 percent, putting Venezuela on track to finish the year with annual inflation of 27 percent -- or more.

Annual inflation reached 22.5 percent last year -- the highest rate in Latin America.

Some analysts predict that annual inflation could hit 30 percent.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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