Saturday, November 18, 2006

Economic update 

Recently the Venezuelan GDP numbers for the 4th Quarter came out. I could reprint all the statistics showing how the private sector is growing faster than the public sector, I could show how manufacturing, commerce and construction are growing MUCH faster than the oil sector, and I could show how investment levels are the highest they've been in many years. But I've done all that many times before so why bother.

I could also point out how the formal sector of the economy created 350,000 jobs in the past year. Or I could mention that year to date 80,000 high quality new homes have been built by the government (not counting what the private sector has built). Again though, they are just numbers

But I think a graph can do more to illustrate just how well Venezuela is doing right now under Chavez than any simple numberss. So here is one:

This graph shows Venezuelan economic growth on a quarter by quarter basis. Note that in Venezuela statistics are calculated year over year. So when you see a 10% growth number in the last quarter of 2005 it means that quarter's economic activity was 10% greater than the last quarter 2004.

Of course, there are some dramatic swings in Venezuela's economic performance, mainly revolving around political tumult. But just look how Venezuela is doing now, as shown on the right end of the graph, versus how it was doing before Chavez came to power, as shown on the left end.

I think that sums up who is going to win the upcoming election, and why.


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