Venezuelan Minister of Finance Jorge Giordani has said that July inflation rate stood at 1%. The minister also stated that price fluctuation amounted to 8.6% in the first half of the year while the yearly inflation rate stood at 19.4%, El Universal newspaper reported. Giordani underscored that the results are far below the figures expected for this year. He also outlined that the price of basic products such as food and non-alcoholic beverages slowed down, standing at 0.2% in July, according to the Venezuelan newspaper. For his part, the president of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), Nelson Merentes, stated that the accumulated inflation rate shows a downward trend in terms of price. In 2010, the accumulated inflation rate in the first seven months amounted to 18%, and in 2011 it stood at 16%. The BCV added that shortage in July was higher (14.2%) in contrast with June (11.7%), while the product diversity index declined from 173.2 to 162.8.