Venezuela introduces new banknotes as inflation soars


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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela is planning to introduce banknotes with larger denominations to cope with hyperinflation which shows no signs of slowing.

The central bank says the new bolivar bills of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 will gradually start to circulate on Thursday as a way to make payments and transactions "more efficient."

The biggest new bill is about the equivalent of $10, which is more than the monthly minimum wage in a country whose economy has been shrinking drastically for years. Until now, the biggest denomination was the 500-bolivar note.

Debit cards are a common form of payment in Venezuela, where the currency is worth so little that big piles of already scarce cash are needed for even relatively small transactions.

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