Venezuela Economic Outlook
The economy expanded 13.2% year on year in Q3 2022, decelerating from 23.3% in Q2, according to a Central Bank statement. The economy likely cooled in Q4 amid a slower annual increase in oil production compared to Q3. Turning to this year, oil prices averaged lower in Q1 than in the previous quarter, while oil production increased. Meanwhile, news reports show that oil exports stabilized at around 700,000 barrels per day in April: Exports were delayed in early 2023 due to an extensive audit of state-run oil firm PDVSA. Meanwhile, the country’s oil has gained additional buyers as Chevron is increasing sales to U.S. refiners. In politics, in early May, opposition party Voluntad Popular named Freddy Superlano as its new leader. Superlano is barred by judicial rulings from running for office, which makes the road to next year’s likely elections even bumpier.
Inflation dipped to 156% in October 2022—the last month of available data—from September’s 157%. Inflation is projected to accelerate this year, fueled by sustained monetary financing of the fiscal deficit. Unanticipated policy changes, volatile global commodity prices and currency depreciation pose risks.