In the first quarter, GDP grew 4.5% over the same period last year, overshooting market expectations of a 1.7% increase and confirming that Venezuela has emerged fully from a two-year recession. The figure represents a significant improvement over the revised 0.3% increase tallied in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +0.6% year-on-year) and represents the fastest growth rate since the second quarter of 2008. In addition, according to revised data released by the Central Bank, the economy contracted 1.7% in 2010, which is 0.3 percentage points below the previous result reported in March. Domestic demand led the expansion, growing 9.6% year-on-year in the first quarter (Q4: +7.6% yoy), mainly due to brisk government spending rather than private consumption. Government consumption jumped 10.4% (Q4: +3.7% yoy) in the first quarter, backed by higher oil revenues, while private consumption increased 3.7% (Q4: +0.4% yoy). Moreover, investment expanded for the first time in two years. Exports of goods and services rose 5.1% in the first quarter (Q4: -5.9% yoy) due to higher oil shipments, while imports surged 22.6% (Q4: +24.1% yoy), supported by buoyant domestic demand as more foreign currency became available in domestic markets according to a Central Bank report. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth stepped up from minus 8.6 percentage points in the fourth quarter to minus 6.9 percentage points in the first quarter. At the sector level, the strong Q1 performance was driven by the non-oil sector (Q1: +5.3% yoy; Q4: -0.5% yoy), in particular by manufacturing and commerce. On the other hand, the oil sector contracted 1.8% over the same period last year. On 6 April, president Chavez stated that the economy may expand between 3% to 4% percent this year on the back of higher oil prices, which almost doubles the current official forecast of 2.0%.
Economy rebounds in first quarter, leaving recession behind
May 17, 2011
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Venezuela Economic News
October 11, 2016
In late September, the Venezuelan government modified the long-awaited bond swap offer it had first presented on 16 September, which had been in the offing for months.
October 10, 2016
Car sales recorded a sharp 56.4% contraction over the same month last year and totaled 271 units in September, according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Cámara Automotriz de Venezuela).
October 7, 2016
The bolivar has appreciated somewhat since early March when it crossed the 1,200 VEF per USD threshold and hit an all-time low.
October 7, 2016
Given the dearth of official data for inflation, different indicators from official and non-official sources are used as proxies to measure the evolution of price levels in the South American country.
October 7, 2016
In response to the massive protests held by the opposition in early September, the government has adopted a more defiant tone and is blocking any attempt by the opposition to contest the ruling party’s hold on power.