Sunday, March 19, 2006

Economic notes 

The good economic news keeps coming in.

First, the Venezuelan closed 2005 with a budget surplus equal to 2.1% of GDP, or more than $2 billion. That is oil revenues and tax revenue exceeded expenses thereby allowing leaving money left over to pay down debt. Maybe the U.S. Congress will send a fact finding mission to see how they did it.

Secondly, it was reported today in Panorama that growth in the telecommunications sector is expected to top 10% again this year. Paving the way for this growth is large scale investments being carried out by some of Venezuela's larger telecommunication companies. For example, CANTV, which is Venezuela's largest phone and internet provider, is expected to invest over $500 million in 2006 alone. Other large companies such as Movistar and Digitel will be making investments that will push the total over $1 billion. Clearly these people have confidence in the future of the Venezulean economy.

And while we are on the subject of investment, the vertible boom in Barquisimeto is exected to generate 25,000 new jobs. The large scale projects there include three new shopping centers, hotels, a new bus terminal, a trolleybus system, a water park, and a new mixed residential/commercial complex.


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