Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Economic notes 

I don't have much time to post now but I just wanted to give a couple of quick economic notes that came out today:

First, as I've been giving regular car sale updates with the intent of showing the strength of the economy I thought I'd give the final year end numbers. In 2005 228,378 automobiles were sold in Venezuela. This is an all time record. It supersedes the previous record year of 2001 when 217,000 were sold. Its kind of interesting that given the oppositions accusation that private property is under attack by the Chavez administration the two years when the most cars (expensive private property) came on his watch. As a side note 139,166 of the cars were assembled in Venezuela with the rest being imported.

Secondly, according to the economic consulting firm, Aristimuno Herrera & Associates Venezuela's foreign reserves at the end of 2005 stood at $30.311 billion dollars. This is third in Latin America behind only Mexico with 68.6 billion and Brazil with 53.8 billion. Venezuelan reserves increased by 25% during 2005. This stellar result was achieved in spite of $6 billion being taken by the government for capital projects and debt repayment. Had that $6 billion been left in the reserves their increase would have been 50%. And the increased inflation predicted by the opposition which critized that use of foreign reserves is no where in site as the Venezuela inflation rate actually decreased in 2005.


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