Brazilian economist Luciano Wexell Severo has recently published a detailed overview of Venezuela´s economic performance under President Hugo Chavez. This article was originally published in Spanish by the news and analysis website 'Rebelion' on 12 March 2006. The English translation was provided by Julio Huato for MR Zine.
In Venezuela, Oil Sows Emancipation
by Luciano Wexell Severo
The data just released by the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) confirm that the Venezuelan economy grew at a cumulative 10.2 percent between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2005. This is the ninth consecutive increase since the last quarter of 2003. Overall, in 2005, the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 9.3 percent.
Just like in the previous eight quarters, the strong increase was fundamentally driven by activities not related to oil: civil construction (28.3 percent), domestic trade (19.9 percent), transportation (10.6 percent), and manufacturing (8.5 percent). The oil sector had an increase of only 2.7 percent. According to a report by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), the unemployment rate in December 2005 was 8.9 percent, two percentage points below the rate in the same period of 2004. In absolute terms, this means 266,000 additional jobs. Last year, the inflation rate reached 14.4 percent, but that was below the 19.2 percent rate in 2004. The nominal interest rate went down to 14.8 percent.
(click here to view entire article)