Economic Growth in Venezuela Continues With 9.8% for 3rd Quarter

Venezuela's Central Bank released economic growth figures for the 3rd quarter of 2005, which indicate that the economy grew by 9.8% relative to the same quarter in the previous year. Private sector growth outpaced the public sector and non-oil sector out-paced the oil sector.

Caracas, Venezuela, November 18, 2005—Economic growth for the 3rd quarter of 2005 reached 9.8% in Venezuela, relative to the same quarter the previous year, making this the 9th consecutive quarter in which Venezuela’s GDP has grown, according to Venezuela’s Central Bank, which released the figures yesterday. The private sector, with a growth rate of 11.1%, led the boom, with the public sector reaching 5.4% growth in the 3rd quarter.

Similarly, growth in Venezuela’s non-oil sector led with 10.4% growth over the country’s oil sector, which expanded by 4.2%. Even within the oil sector, private sector growth outpaced that of the public sector, with 9.6% to 2.8%, respectively.

In the non-oil sector, the economic activities that grew the most were manufacturing (9.3%), commerce and repair services (18.1%), construction (18.4%), and general government services (7.3%).

Economic growth in Venezuela during the Chavez presidency has varied greatly, with the economy shrinking by 6% in 1999, Chavez’s first year in office, largely due to low oil revenues. It then grew by 3.7% and 3.4% in 2000 and 2001. With the on-set of political polarization, politically motivated strikes, the 2002 coup attempt, and the two month shut-down of the country’s all-important oil industry in late 2002, however, the economy shrank by 8.9% in 2002 and by 7.7% in 2003. It made a significant recovery in 2004, growing by 17.9% in 2004, one of the largest economic growth figures in the world for that year. For all of 2005 the economy is expected to grow another 10%. So far, it has grown by 9.1% during the first three quarters of 2005, relative to the first three quarters of 2004.