Venezuela: Economic activity decelerates in third quarter
November 20, 2012
In the third quarter, GDP expanded 5.2% over the same quarter last year, based on preliminary estimates released by the Central Bank on 20 November. The print came in below the 5.8% increase seen in the second quarter (previously reported: +5.4% year-on-year), but overshot the 4.7% expansion projected by last month's Consensus Forecast. Economic growth decelerated mainly due to less robust domestic demand, which rose 8.2% over the same period last year (Q2: +11.3% yoy), whereas the external sector improved. Private consumption increased 7.8% (Q2: +7.0% yoy), while public spending accelerated to a 7.0% pace (Q2: +5.7% yoy) on the back of the 7 October presidential elections. On the other hand, gross fixed investment slowed from a 17.0% rise in the second quarter to a 13.3% increase in the third. On the external front, exports rebounded and rose 2.1% (Q2: -5.0% yoy), while imports slowed to a 12.9% increase (Q2: +18.8% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth improved from minus 8.6 percentage points in the second quarter to minus 5.7 percentage points in the third.