Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Venezuela’s economy: not so bad?

Posted in Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on September 2, 2010

by Benedict Mander for Financial Times, September 2nd, 2010.

Is Venezuela out of the roughest seas after all? For a while now, the oil-rich country has been ridiculed for being the only country in Latin America still to be caught in recession – or worse still, stagflation – as the rest sail surely into the calm waters of positive growth.

Not true, suspects Mark Weisbrot, a left-leaning economist at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, who also co-wrote the script for Oliver Stone’s new film, South of the Border, which portrays Hugo Chavez in a positive light.

His reasoning? Seasonally adjusted data, which estimate quarter-on-quarter rather than year-on-year growth, suggest that Venezuela’s recession is “very likely over”. He argues this in a forthcoming paper, which will be published shortly before key legislative elections that come as Chavez’s popularity is sagging – a point Weisbrot’s detractors amongst the Venezuelan opposition are bound to point out. (continue reading… )

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