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Venezuela says inflation slowed as government slashed appliance prices

Venezuela's government said inflation slowed in the last two months of the year after the government took action to slash prices of appliances.

The Central Bank said in a report that prices jumped 4.8 percent in November and an estimated 2.2 percent in December. The figures arrived two weeks past a deadline to publish price data. In October, prices jumped 5.1 percent.

The Central Bank justified a nearly three-week delay in issuing its report because of "exceptional and historic" measures taken by President Nicolas Maduro to fight price speculators trying to destabilize the country. Maduro said Monday that annual inflation hit 56.2 percent.

The report didn't provide its normal update to the so-called scarcity index, a monthly gauge of items out of stock.