Despite the oil windfall GDP per capita is only up 3.5% over the last twelve years in Venezuela

February 27, 2011

And from the website, a very simple graph; using BCV data, GDP per capita in constant Bs. , since 1998. Over half a trillion dollars in oil income and all you can show for it is an improvement of 3.5% in twelve years. It is not even worth calculating how much that is per year: Tiny.

35 Responses to “Despite the oil windfall GDP per capita is only up 3.5% over the last twelve years in Venezuela”

  1. GeorgeS Says:

    Miguel: You should censor the PSF, he is here only to annoy and confuse, he adds nothing, claims not to be pro-Chavez and sounds like a paid PSUV member.

  2. moctavio Says:

    It is my personal blog, I dont censor unless people really step over the line. As to the number, can you please read and comprehend:

    Venezuela’s GPD numbers is in Bolivars, defined by the BCV, not the CIA

    For 2010 it was a trillion Bs. the trillion has not changed, what changed was the exchange rate. Is that so difficult to understand? If we had a floating exchange rate, it would change every day.

    It’s that simple.

    But you keep arguing and defending an invalid point of view.

    You clearly dont understand these topics, but think you are an expert somehow.

  3. Pygmalion Says:

    Miguel – the information is from 2010 so what on earth are you talking about.

    BTW – you are the moderator of this blog and you cannot bring yourself to act impartially by removing Kepler’s comment which is a low blow. Have some ethics if you are a decent person.

  4. Pygmalion Says:

    Eduardo – so based on your comment you have nothing to contribute to this debate? Just insults bacuase you either do not agree or, most probably, you have no arguments! Congratulations for your high intellect!

  5. Eduardo Says:

    M. Octavio:

    “Start a blog, see if anyone reads it.”


    This single phrase shows the failure of the entire propagandistic machine of Hugo Chavez regime.

    Say, they have blogs, newspapers, a lot of cover on TV, and they can’t simply convice anybody, because the lies are so blatant that only the die-hards keep the faith.

    And we have a troll that tries to victimize himself, repeating lies, distorting figures, and NEVER answering the well founded questions.

    Hei, Pygmalion, if nobody is paying you for saying stupid things, go and get a life!

  6. moctavio Says:

    If Kepler agrees I will remove it, if not, it stands.

  7. moctavio Says:

    As usual you fail to answer, you are quoting stuff that IS WRONG as it was the truth. The CIA does not define Venezuela’s GDP, the Venezuelan Central Bank does. If you use old information, you get the wrong answers. And you continue to not read and misinform.

  8. Pygmalion Says:

    Kepler – please keep my daughter out of this.

    Miguel – please be kind enough to edit out that comment by Kepler. That is playing dirty and I think that most fair minded people would agree with that these are underhand tactics by Kepler.

  9. Pygmalion Says:

    No one, least of all I, am defending Chavez. I am just pointing out what the CIA web site states. That’s all. Period. Now if you want to believe other sources with even more special interests than the CIA website, that’s your business.

    And Gringo…. stating facts is not defending anyone. It is just a reflection of what could well be the truth ratehr than rpopaganda designed to mislead and serve certain policial interests. Either you want the truth or you do not. I am in the former camp.

  10. Kepler Says:


    For goodness sake, look at this:
    Unfortunately, prices there go back to 1997 only, but you can find the numbers elsewhere. Venezuela has been getting SEVERAL TIMES the amount of petrodollars it got in the nineties. Oil exports make up about 91% of exports and ONLY – ONLY – 30% of GDP growh theoretically, but given the structural mess Venezuela is in, a very large part of the rest is a consequence of that 30%: PDVSA guys are paid, Mercal people also, public employees as well, that makes venta de empanadas go up and above all the import of salmon, Chinese toys, Colombian panties and Nicaraguan coffee and Dominican black beans.

    YOU mention the HDI.
    Allow me to put here this:
    (with links to the respective reports, not to VTV )

    The regime keeps repeating about the increase in HDI value for Venezuela through the years, whereas UN warns specially about comparing that value. The Venezuelan military regime does not say

    *Brazil and
    have all surpassed Venezuela since 1998 in HDI position (what really matters) and Venezuela has not surpassed anyone in America.

    That even if Venezuela got so much money from oil revenues.
    Can you explain? Soja beans from Brazil made the trick, right? Guano from Peru?
    Shit, I know people from Peru going back to their countries now. I know Colombians leaving Venezuela. Only the most destitute or as Colombians say it themselves, the ones running away from the Civil War or the thugs themselves go to Venezuela now.

    Finally, Mr Economist, a 3.5% GDP yearly growth in a country such as Venezuela or Ghana is not the same as a GDP growth of 3.5% in Germany or Canada and not only because of different demographic trends.
    But it is not even that figure.

    ¿Le mandaste a tu hijita sus dólares para que pueda comprarte esa cámara que quieres comprar en Europa?

  11. Gringo Says:

    Mistake: that should have been “Canada in 1838.”
    Here Paul Robeson sings “Un Canadien Errant” in both French and in English.

  12. Gringo Says:

    moctaviothat is not what the CIA says, funny source though to defend Chavez.

    Indeed is it a funny source to defend Chavez!

    I guess some people cannot read graphs, who bring in dollars when the graph is in constant Bs.

    Miguel Octavio, your writing does not suffer from being away from your patria. As sharp and as cogent as ever.

    Un Canadien Errant, here sung by Bonnie Dobson, is a song of exile. “This Quebecois folk tune was originally inspired by those who fought in the 1837-38 Lower Canada Rebellion, and were later exiled to Australia and elsewhere.” Exile is exile, whether it is from Canada in 1938 or from Venezuela in 2011.

  13. moctavio Says:

    And yes, you are misleading or like Giordani lying, you tell us:

    1) You keep grabbing at straws at the GDP in US$, saying it is 355, 375, when it is much lower.

    2) You give as evidence of how great Chavez is doing the fact that the Caracas Stock Index is at an all time high of 67,000

    When I say it was 60,000 four years ago and there are many days that we dont even have trades in the exchange you answer that this was because EDC and CANTV were removed from the index. They are still part of the Index. You say all these wrong things and move forward to criticize a graph (this post) you have not even taken the time to understand.

    So, please dont come crying we dont like your point of view. Your only point of view is to troll and talk about what you dont even take the time to understand. Start a blog, see if anyone reads it.

  14. moctavio Says:

    Well, if you paid more attention to what you read and the comments, you may do a better job at criticizing everything I write.

    It is 3.5% in twelve years, TINY per YEAR

    Once again you said a number like that 355 if I recall correctly before. There was a devaluation the official GDP number IS NOT in dollars it is in Bs. It is one trillion Bs. at Bs. 4.3 that is not what the CIA says, funny source though to defend Chavez.

    One trillion Bs./4.3 Bs. per dollars IS NOT 344 billion dollars and the per capita number are the Central Bank presided by Merentes. The link was provided in the previous post. But here it is again:

    Go to Agregados Macroeconomicos

    Then go to PIB at precios corrientes y constantes desde 1950

    Download excel spreadsheet

    Look up 2010

    Column on the right is Precios Corrientes

    Then read one trillion Bs. or in numbers:


    That is the official GDP for Venezuela in 2010 according to the Venezuelan Central Bank.

    Divide by Bs. 4.3

    You get US$ 233.218. Since Venezuela has north of 26 million inhabitants (according to INE), then the number given by the CIA is wrong too, (obviously)

    You have argued that GDP is real things and therefore it will stay constant in US$, today Merentes said GDP (in Bs!) will go up by 3% this year. Nobody believes it, but assume we do, then that 1,002,838,992 will become


    If the currency does not change and stays at Bs. 4.3, then GPD next year will be US$ 240 billion. It stays down in dollars!!!!!!

    So, you want to argue numbers please learn where to get them first. The graph above is a the GDP per capita IN CONSTANT TERMS also calculated by the Venezuelan Central Bank each year, you can also find it in the same page above. It takes GDP per capita in 1997 as reference and adjusts changes by the inflation rate, that is what in constant terms means. It is easier to understand changes in constant Bs. for certain things.

    I have nothing against what people say except if they are wrong and misleading. Everything you have said is misleading and based in things you clearly don’t understand. This is typical troll behavior, it distracts and confuses and does nothing to improve the discussion. Start a blog.

  15. Pygmalion Says:

    The CIA figures are very different. Almost $13,000 per capita GDP. $344 billion overall GDP.

    Things look fine according to that source.

  16. Pygmalion Says:

    Mathematically 3.5% per year over 12 years sounds little but if you multiply it out then it is a 46% gross increase which sounds somewhat better. Take into account that the population increased from 22 million to 29 million (+32%) in the same period and the paltry 3.5% per year does not look too bad. 🙂 And it looks even better if you factor in the economic sbaotage from 2002 to 2003.

    These are facts and not opinions and put your figures into perpspective.

  17. Pygmalion Says:

    To Anti Comunista – is your brain so tiny that you have to resort to insults. It’s like being back in 8th grade.

    Miguel – since alternative points of view from people who are on the same page politically are not appreciated then I will refrain from pulling this post apart since it is on very, very shaky ground.

  18. HalfEmpty Says:

    Yes, what Gringo said, 3.5 percent toal over 12 years. 3.5 percent per year would be pretty darn good.

  19. A_Antonio Says:

    If you sum another half trillion dollars in income taxes to the oil income, and you only have 3,5% of PIB increase in 12 years, you can add more question to the meaning of “21st Century Socialism”, I don’t know what is that either.

  20. Gringo Says:

    Over half a trillion dollars in oil income and all you can show for it is n improvement of 3.5% per yearin twelve years.

    That would be more accurately stated:
    “Over half a trillion dollars in oil income and all you can show for it is an improvement of 3.5% in twelve years.”

  21. Roy Says:

    Completely OT:

    I just learned today that parcel delivery services (DHL, FedEx, Zoom, etc.) are collecting a special tax (on behalf of the government) to subsidize IPostal. For those who don’t know, IPostel is the Venezuelan Post Office. This was enacted in a revision to the “Ley de Correos, Art. 19, and initiated in August 2010, but the service I use for mail from outside, just caught up and charged me for the last six months.

    Again, for those who don’t know, IPostal is something of a joke here. No one I have ever met actually entrusts mail to them. Even the state-owned utilities do not use them to deliver their bills. I have never actually been inside an IPostal office, but I have always imagined it being full of cobwebs. I imagine that they must have someone to take the pulse of the employees ever once in while, simply to confirm that are still alive and should receive their salary. If my imagination is too far off the mark, someone please correct me.

    In any case, IPostal is more or less universally recognized as completely and utterly useless. As such, because they are not utilized, they don’t produce any revenues. Well, it appears that someone in the government finally recognized that. So, instead of taking the brain dead, inert patient off of life support and giving it a quiet burial, Chavismo decided to keep it “alive” by transfusing it with blood siphoned off from healthy active living organisms. So far as I know, there have still been been no signs of life emanating from IPostal.

    And if that isn’t a metaphor for “21st Century Socialism”, I don’t know what is.

  22. boz Says:

    Fortunately the Chavista economists can comfort themselves by just looking at those 2003-2008 numbers and making up excuses to ignore the rest. Chavez is only responsible for the good years after all.

  23. moctavio Says:

    But I have less confidence on the controlled exchange rate

  24. Roy Says:


    You have more confidence in the official inflation numbers than I do. By my reckoning, the GDP/capita has probably contracted significantly. But, I am no economist, so you can take that however you like.

  25. poll47 Says:

    Bitch, bitch, bitch yet sit on your ass and do nothing. The Venezuela way to social change.

    Look east and see what others in the wprld are doing to regain their freedom the time for action is now.

  26. ElJefe Says:

    Well, it’s not surprising considering that PDVSA has become a checking account for whatever the president feels like doing that day, money to keep ministers happy, etc. What people that tout the “social achievements” of the last twelve years don’t get is that in a Latin American nation where the government plays such an enormous role in the economy, graft is about as natural as breathing. With so many leaks in the form of outright corruption, it’s a surprise any oil money even trickles down to the rest of society. It’s not news that Chavez leads an enormous political machine with PDVSA at the heart of it, playing the role of the goose laying golden eggs. However, those golden eggs will soon dry up and that’s when the fun will begin.

  27. djbravo Says:

    Another very interesting graph would be the price of crude in Bolivares over the past 12 years.

  28. djbravo Says:

    Miguel, It would be interesting to see this graph with the price of crude in the graph as well. Great work.

    Anti Comunista, I don’t believe pyg hijacked the post but I would love to debate these guys more. Can we challenge them to a debate?

  29. Anti Comunista Says:

    It really hurts… Ouch! The population has grown and the dollars generated are the same. Not to mention that the capital stock and brain stock has deteriorated.

    A lost decade plus the time that will be spent after the nightmare ends.

    Unfortunately, the previus post was almost hijacked by that douchebag Pymaricón.

    But the idea went through: our GDP in real exchange rate (circa 9 VEF) is a joke. So much for Venezuela’s rich illusions…

    Venezuela is only a medium to poor economy sitting on an incalculable oil fortune.

  30. what, what…. 12 years of dashing bolibananian socialism and we are where we left from but with more corruption and inequalities? surely you are wrong, micomandantepresidente would never, NEVER, allow for such a situation!!!!! you are a liar miguel octavio!

    kidding aside.

    what is frightening in those numbers is that under the regime all the high placed “jerarcas” make much, much more money than their counterparts in the pre chavez era. inflation adjustment and all, from the TSJ to the multitude of mision directors, they all make more money than the pre chavez era where public administration was half the current one and payroll probably less than half, at constant bolivares (has someone data to confirm that?)

    to ballon the public administration sector for client advantage, that is, transform public administration into indentured labor (and I am not factoring in corruption) with a GDP per capita stale for all practical purposes can only be made at the expense of investment in infrastructure, health care, education, roads, etc, etc…..

    wisconsin is shit compared to what await us in venezuela

  31. moctavio Says:

    Constant Bolivars means the number is adjusted for inflation. In some sense it is more realistic in an environment of exchange controls, since theer are fewer artificialities.

  32. A_Antonio Says:

    I am ignorant in economy, I think the graph show something clear, is how unproductive the “Chavez (socialism??) model” is.

    In the other side, it would be a good index to show the debacle of Chavez model, by representing for these 12 years the percentage the minimum salary required to buy a minimum basket of foods and services. I have the impression the percentage increase and it wouldn’t be a surprise that you require now more than few times of the minimum salary to buy the same basket, which was representing only a part of a minimum salary 12 years ago.

  33. Roy Says:


    Forgive me, but how is “constant Bs.” defined? I had the same thought as Bobthebuilder, but I do recognize that this is somehow adjusted for inflation, but exactly how and compared to what?

  34. CarlosElio Says:

    What bothers me most is that bizarre clowns like Giordani would find it easy, almost natural, to spin the sad statistic into a glamorous achievement of “socialism.”

  35. bobthebuilder Says:

    I’m not an economist, but shouldn’t the figures be adjusted to cater for the loss of value of the Bolivar against the dollar (or any other relatively ‘stable’ currency) over the period. Or is this already included? If not, is there a decrease in GDP over the 12 years?

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