The Banco Central de Venezuela (Venezuelan Central Bank, BCV) took the unusual step today of releasing official information about the country’s economy, more than three years after it stopped doing so.
The Ecoanalitica economic firm summarized the BCV’s figures in a series of tweets posted on its account. The summarized figures including the following statistics:
- GDP fell by 18.6% in 2017, and 19.2% in 2018.
- Capital investment fell by 45.3% in 2017 and 47.8% in 2018 [note: the BCV only released data on this point up to the third trimester of 2018].
- The manufacturing sector shrank by 25.3% in 2017 and 22.5% in 2018 [note: the BCV only released data on this point up to the third trimester of 2018].
- The commercial sector shrank by 32.8% in 2017 and 34.1% in 2018 [note: the BCV only released data on this point up to the third trimester of 2018].
The figures paint a grim picture of the Venezuelan economy, and are reflective of the grim situation in the country described by its residents.
The updated figures appear to have been released without much fanfare, having been simply updated in running spreadsheets on the BCV website.
Lima Group Set to Meet in Guatemala
The Lima Group is set to meet to discuss the Venezuelan crisis in Guatemala on June 6.
The announcement came from Marta Larra, the Guatemalan minister of foreign affairs, who said that originally the meeting had been scheduled for May 20. Larra said that the meeting was postponed because the Lima Group wanted to wait for the results of a diplomatic effort by the International Contact Group on Venezuela, an organization that includes countries from both Latin America and Europe.
The Lima Group is a bloc of Latin American countries plus Canada that have been working to promote a political transition toward democracy in Venezuela since its creation in August 2017. They meet periodically and issue statements on the Venezuelan crisis.
Venezuelan Embassy in US To Conduct Census
The Venezuelan embassy in the United States will conduct a census of Venezuelan citizens in that country, headed by opposition-appointed ambassador Carlos Vecchio. The census will seek to paint an accurate picture not only of how many Venezuelans there are in the United States, but also of their legal status.
Vecchio announced the launch of the census on a Twitter thread on his personal account. In the thread, Vecchio said that the name of the census initiative is “Registro Unico Consular” [Unique Consular Registry], and that one of its purposes would be to determine exactly what kind of assistance Venezuelans living in the United States might require from their consulate.
The initiative is already live, and Venezuelans in the United States can registry in the census through the consulate’s website.
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