Thursday, May 18, 2006

Economic notes 

Today appeared some more nicely organized information on Venezuel's recent economic performance. In particular there was this nice table from El Universal laying out the economy's performance:

The left half gives the quarter by quarter growth of different sectors of the economy over the past two years. Interestingly, after almost 70% growth in the first quarter of 2004 which reflects the recovery from the oil strike the oil sector has been pretty flat. The real growth has been in the non-oil sectors such as construction and commerce which are often growing more than 20%. Manufacturing is certainly doing ok, generally growing between 8 and 10%, but it would probably be doing a lot better if the Bolivar weren't so overvalued and people bought more Venezuelan made products as opposed to imports.

On the right it gives the quarter by quarter growth in the GDP overall. Again, ever since the spectacular recovery in 2004 we see the growth has leveled off to a still excellent growth rate of about 10%. What is particularly good is that rate doesn't seem to be declining but rather is holding steady. Oil prices being what they are I'm optomistic Venezuela can have another year of almost 10% growth.

On another note the El Universal article gave some numbers on job growth. You may recall I did a post a couple of weeks ago that turned out to have some erronous numbers on job growth that I will hopefully be able to fix (the numbers I used appeared to be too high because they included jobs in the informal sector of the economy, not just jobs in the formal sector). However, this article pointed out that in the first quarter of 2006 there were 376,000 new private sector jobs created. If accurate that is a incredible number - it would come to nearly a million and half new private sector jobs in a year! That would be spectacular job growth in a country of Venezuela's size.


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