Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The great Venezuelan pigout...continued. 

Today, the news came out that the Venezuelan economy grew another 8.9% in the last quarter. The only thing I can think of to say is - YAWN. Quite frankly I can't motivate myself to even give the breakdown of exactly what grew how much anymore. After 15 consecutive quarters of boom it is simply too redundant.

What is an interesting twist though is just how fast consumption is growing. Yes, we knew it was growing extremely rapidly and had reached levels not seen in decades. Still, to read today that consumption so far in 2007 is up 30% over what it was during this same time last year is just amazing. No wonder shopping malls are mobbed and new ones are going up all over the place.

Here are the actual statistics from todays El Universal:

The sales of clothing are up over 100% over the already very high levels of last year!!! It is hard to know what to say other than Venezuelan consumers obviously have a lot more money in their hands and are determined to spend it.

Further, as we saw in the polling information from Sunday they feel good about their own personal situation and about the future. So says the president of the Datanalysis polling firm:

"Polls from June show 60% view the situation of the country favorably and 80% think their economic situation will improve."

Of course, much of this boom has served to benefit foriegn manufacturers as many items being consumed are being imported. Yet as we have seen previously, manufacturing in Venezuela is way up so that local producers are also benefiting from this boom. In fact, even the supposedly besieged farming sector is seeing its output go up 16% this year!

And speaking of the food situation... again all I can say is it is all you can eat here. Last time I posted some pictures of what Venezuelan supermarkets looked like some complained I didn't show enough of the things claimed to be in short supply. So now that I can post pictures again here are some more. These are from a Hiper Jumbo grocery store and it is very typical of what I have seen around Maracay. And let me tell you - it rivals anything you find in the U.S. as a temple of consumption.

First, people complained before I didn't show enough of the dairy products. Ok here is what the dairy section was like:

I swear to God, I see anymore cheese and I am going to throw up.

Of course, at the grocery store in Caracas the meat section was pretty skimpy. Not so here:

They also had plenty of things to keep vegitarians happy:

No cooking oil problems:

Nor bean shortages either:

At this point the flash of my camera going off repeatedly gave me away to management and I was escorted out of the store. But once outside I did snap one last photo showing why in even such a huge store with so many customers there were no lines:

Yup, 23 check out lines, that will do it.

Seriously, you run into these gigantic Hiper Jumbo and Super Lider grocery stores all over Maracay. So anyone looking for a country short on food is going to have to look elswhere. And as for me, my days of taking pictures of shelves in grocery stores and putting them on a blog are over. It is just too tacky.

Besides, it makes me hungry. Now I am going to have some more of this for dinner:

The astute observers will note that two items on this plate are in short supply, at least if you believe the opposition propogandists. Then again, the astute observer will know better than to believe anything the opposition bullshitters say anways.


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