The Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) released economic data for the first time in nearly three years. The figures offer a glimpse into how the Maduro regime has measured its economic failures.

According to the BCV figures, the inflation rate for 2017 was 860% and that the economic shrank by 15.7%. The official figures are much more optimistic than those of the IMF, which estimates the country’s 2017 inflation at 2,818%. Earlier this year, the National Assembly estimated the fall of GDP last year to be 15%.

The BCV tracked the collapse of the economy by sector. Below, the official figures on the fall in GDP per sector:

  • Oil: -15%
  • Manufacturing: -25%
  • Construction: -53%
  • Financial: 32%
  • Public imports: -27%
  • Private imports: -51%

The data release comes in response to a warning by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it might sanction the country if it did not update the institution on its performance.Venezuela has been a member of the IMF since 1946.

The Maduro regime maintains that the country’s economic collapse is the result of a nebulous “economic war” it claims is being waged against the country by a host of internal and foreign enemies. In fact, nearly two decades of endemic corruption and mismanagement and virtually every level of government have ravaged the Venezuelan economy.

Just yesterday, Alejandro Andrade–who served as national treasurer under Chavez for four years–was sentenced to ten years in a U.S. prison after admitting that he took $1 billion in bribes as part of a corruption scheme that looted the national coffers of money destined for food, medicine, and development.

National Assembly Says GDP Shrinks 29.8% in Last Trimester

The National Assembly announced today that the country’s GDP will shrink by a staggering 29.8% in the last three months of 2018. The announcement came via deputy Angel Alvarado, who heads the legislature’s Finance Committee.

According to Alvarado, the main culprit for the monumental collapse of the country’s GDP is the continued decay of the oil sector. Alvaro explained that the oil industry is expected to experience a collapse of 40% in the last three months of this year.

Alvarado also explained that another reason for the distressing figures is the fact that Venezuela is currently in a hyperinflationary spiral. As a result, Alvarado said:

This is a phenomenon that shrinks the economy because workers don’t have an incentive to work since salaries are so low. On the other hand, businesses have fewer incentives to rotate their inventories and produce [more].

Alvarado also said that the Venezuela economy today is 53% smaller than it was when Maduro came to power in 2013. He put the scope of the collapse by saying:

This is the worst and longest depression that the American continent has ever seen.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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