Social investment drives Venezuela's economic growth

Caracas, 23 Nov. AVN.- The expansion in Venezuela's economy, which grew by 5.2 per cent in the third quarter of the year, has been accompanied by a series of projects aimed at achieving social inclusion for the population, noted the president of the Venezuelan Central Bank, Nelson Merentes.

"In Venezuela, we can not only see that 5.2 per cent. We also have to see whether social inclusion was reached, if social dynamics is being attended and, in this case, if this is a way to measure economic development in a fiscal year," Merentes said in an interview in a private local TV channel on Thursday.

In addition, he informed that almost all sectors of economy responded favorably, with progress in matters of construction by 12.6 per cent and trade by 9.7 per cent.

Similarly, the latest report on the Gross Domestic Product showed that banking and insurance sectors grew by 35.9 per cent; community services by 7.8 per cent; communications by 6.9 per cent, services manufactured by the General Government by 5.5 per cent (including health and education services); business sector by 3.9 per cent; transportation and storage by 3.5 per cent; electricity and water by 3 per cent and the manufacturing industry also by 3 per cent.

"Almost all activities had a favorable result; mining is the only one registering slowdown. This generates more employment, though we still have some difficulties. I mean, we have to recognize that there is not full employment (estimated when a country reaches an unemployment rate by 5 per cent). Unemployment is about 7 per cent (extreme poverty). It is to say that even though a group has not seen the potential of this kind of growth yet, they will see it in the future as it improves," added Nelson Merentes.

The president of the Venezuelan Central Bank said as well that this scenario of economic growth is accompanied with a downturn trend in inflation.

"We started the fiscal year 2012 with 27.6 per cent (annual inflation rate by December 2011). This is how it ended last year. This year, up to October, it rated 17.9 per cent and, well, we still have to measure November and December. We are making a strong effort to have the lesser figure possible this year."

Merentes recalled that the Central Bank is working together with the National Government in a plan to reduce inflation rate by less than a digit in two years, for which an increase on the production of goods is required.

"Well, to produce more foods; I mean, the most consumed items and at a faster rate in Venezuelans' diet or the services acquired by Venezuelans," he added.

AVN 23/11/2012 08:46
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