Venezuela GDP


Economic activity expands at fastest pace since 2008

In the first quarter, GDP grew 5.6% over the same quarter last year, based on preliminary estimates released by the Central Bank of Venezuela (Banco Central de Venezuela) on 17 May. The print came in above the 4.9% increase seen in the fourth quarter and marked, in fact, the strongest quarterly gain since Q2 2008. Moreover, the reading overshot market expectations that had GDP expanding 4.1%. Economic growth was spurred by brisk domestic demand (Q4 2011: +9.1% year-on-year; Q1 2012: +16.3% yoy), while, on the other hand, the external sector deteriorated sharply. Private consumption grew 5.7% (Q4 2011: +5.3% yoy), whereas public spending moderated to 5.0% (Q4 2011: +5.8% yoy). Furthermore, gross fixed investment exploded 27.3% over the same quarter last year (Q4 2011: +11.6% yoy) mainly due to the massive housing programme that has prompted the construction sector to surge 29.6% in the first quarter (Q4 2011: +12.8% yoy). In addition, GDP also benefited from higher stockpiling. On the external front, exports rebounded to a 0.6% expansion in the first quarter (Q4 2011: -1.8% yoy), while imports continued to surge, rising 38.6% (Q4 2011: +16.3% yoy). As a result, the external sector

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