–GDP in Venezuela was up 11.2% in the second quarter of 2005 thanks to
heavy spending by the Government, However, oil GDP was barely up 1.5%
in the quarter, despite the fact that it is measured versus the same
quarter a year ago, when the average price of oil averaged just below
$40 a barrel.
–The number of Deputies to be elected to the National Assembly in December is determined on the basis of projections of
population by the National Institute ofr Statistics, rather than actual
census numbers. Curiously, Miranda and Carabobo states both lost a
Deputy. Theses two states are among the top three in which the
opposition has strength (The other one is Zulia). This is teh first
time in decades that either state grows slower than the country, execpt
the other times it was a census, these time it is projections.
–Since 1998, when Chavez became President or later, infant mortality
is up 16%, death by malnutrition is up 40%, malaria is up 50%.
–The “popular car” that will cost around US$ 6,000-8.000 will be
exempt from the Value Added Tax (VAT). Another subsidy by the poor, who
could never afford one of these. Gas, by the way, is still US$ 0.19 per
–Imports in the second quarter were up 52.2% making everyone wonder
whatever happened to the “endogenous” development. By the way, the
Government’s food program Mercal, imports 70% of its products. Go