Economy shrinks by 14.7% in the first three quarters

November 21, 2003

The Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) reported that the Venezuelan economy shrank by 7.1% in the third quarter 2003. For the year the Venezuelan economy has shrank by a total of 14.7%. Quarter to quarter there was a slight improvement from -9.4% in the second quarter. The report by the central bank indicates that the oil sector shrank by 9% during the quarter, while the non-oil economy shrank by 6%, demonstrating that PDVSA’s activities are not up to full speed as the Government claims. In fact, the report by the BCV explicitly states that the oil public sector shrank by 12.2% with respect to the same quarter in 2002, but private sector oil activities increased by 30.2% through the strategic associations. Thus, it is the private oil sector that has actually saved the day in terms of oil production. In the private sector, manufacturing continued stalled at -9.9% for the quarter, while constriction (up 33.9 %) and commerce (up 10.0 %) did show some signs of revival.

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