Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Deflating inflation 

Now that I know how to post graphs I have been culling economic data from the Venezuelan Central Bank to do some nice graphs on and show how Chavez compares to his predecessors. Given that the subject of inflation has already come up in the comments section and been the source of some dispute I thought I'd go ahead and post that graph. Here is the annual inflation rate for Venezuela going back to 1989:

Looking at this graph it immediately becomes apparent that inflation is much lower under Chavez than the previous presidents. In fact, his worst year, 2002, has lower inflation than all but one year from previous presidents. Also, except for 2002 when the opposition created tumult through coup attempts and strikes, inflation has consistently trended down under Chavez.

This makes it particularly ironic that the opposition likes to criticize him for having high rates of inflation. Compared to when they were running things inflation is much lower under Chavez. This is all the more remarkable because the reduction in inflation has been accompanied by very strong economic growth.

So the opposition can complain, whine, and find fault. Those are about the only things they are good at. But when it comes to actual performance the numbers show Chavez has done a much better job at keeping inflation under control than they did.


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