Venezuela Expects Greater Economic Growth in 2012

Venezuelan Finance and Planning Minister, Jorge Giordani, reported last week that it's “perfectly possible” for the South American nation's GDP to grow by 5 percent in 2012 as a result of the current government's social spending and housing construction plans.


“The first motor of Venezuela’s economy is oil and the second is construction. The latter took off in 2011 and is not going to diminish [in 2012]”, Giordani said during a special program broadcast on state television highlighting the country’s economic advances over the past 12 months.

The Minister’s statement comes as Venezuela closes 2011 with economic growth of 4 percent, double what was forecast for the national budget.

In a statement released by his office last Monday, Giordani pointed out that home construction grew overall by 10 percent as a result of the Chavez administration’s new social program, Mission Housing Venezuela.

“While the [economic] crisis is hurting countries in Europe and the United States, we have retaken the path towards growth”, the Finance Ministry’s statement reads. Giordani also pointed out that the creation of the country’s National Development Fund, which takes surplus revenues generated by the state oil company PDVSA and directs them towards social programs, has been a keystone of the nation’s economic progress.

“President Chavez has placed human beings as his priority and the economic indicators demonstrate a better quality of life. The economy is worthless if it doesn’t have as its objective the welfare of human beings”, he said.

Economic and Commercial Advances

In other economic news, Minister of Science, Technology and Intermediary Industry, Ricardo Menendez, highlighted the fact that Venezuela’s manufacturing sector grew to 3.8 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2011 while commercial activity represented 5.8 percent of overall output.

Menendez also informed that tourism in Venezuela saw a growth of 12 percent while infrastructure and transportation investments by the government reached more than $1 billion.

$470 million were used to modernize the nations ports, the Minister said, and more than 2 million affordable cellular phones were produced by the state owned manufacturing companies Vetelca and Orinoquia.

Matching this growth has been an increase of 111 percent in the distribution of subsidized and non subsidized food products through state-run commercial outlets.

In total, nearly 15 million people have benefited from the government’s points of sale, buying some 2 million tons of foodstuffs, the Minister detailed. “2011 represents the recovery of our economy”, Menendez declared definitively.