Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The economic boom continues 

The Venezuelan economy is so consistant in its long running boom that I feel like I could almost cut and past the posts each quarter detailing. That, though, would be cheating, so here are the real numbers released today by the Venezuelan Central Bank:

The economy grew 9.4% in the first quarter of 2006. Given that the projected growth was around 5 or 6% this is much better than what was expected.

Breaking down the numbers we once again see that the growth is concentrated in the private and non-oil sectors. Here are the details:

The oil sector actually decreased by .2 percent

The non-oil sector grew by 10.9 percent.

Making up the non-oil sector we had the following growth rates:

Manufacturing up 9.4 percent

Commerce up 21 percent

Construction up 21.2 percent

Communications up 28.1 percent

This stellar growth comes on top of 17% growth in 2004 and 9% growth in 2005. The torrid pace of Venezeulan growth is a welcome boost for Venezuelans and probably the final nail in the coffin for the oppositions electoral prospects.

A final note: Once I can get the GDP numbers in terms of constant Bolivares from the BCV web-site (this may be a month or so) I will be able to calculate the evolution of Venezuelan per capita income over Chavez's term. But given that it was only down a few percent as of last year with this 9% growth is virtually certain that per capita income across the board is up during Chavez's term. This is significant because in the 40 years proceeding Chavez's coming to office the Venezuela was one of the few countries in the world that had a decreasing per capita income. That would then be another very bad trend reversed by Chavez.


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