The government of President Alan Garcia, fighting to forestall economic disaster, Saturday announced it is doubling prices for basic foods and taking other measures to cope with an annual inflation rate of 1,722 percent.

The official gazette, El Peruano, decreed increases of 60 to 117 percent for such subsidized foods as bread, sugar and rice. Gasoline prices were raised 62 percent.Authorities also devalued the currency, the inti, by 29 percent. The exchange rate rose from 500 intis to 700 intis per U.S. dollar.

It is the third time in five months the embattled center-left Garcia government has raised food and gasoline prices to keep the treasury afloat.