For the first time in nearly 4 years, the Central Bank reveals economic figures
7 junio 2019

The Central Bank of Venezuela (CBV) had not published economic data on gross domestic product, inflation or on the trade balance since December 2015. That unexpectedly changed on the evening of May 28. What do the official figures show?

Gross Domestic Product

  • Between 2013 and 2018 GDP fell by 47.7%, in a recession that has now lasted 19 consecutive trimesters. Only in 2018 the fall was of 22.5%.   
  • GDP disaggregated by sectors shows falls of 89.3% in the construction sector; 74% in trade and services; 73.6% in financial and insurance institutions; 68.8% in manufacturing activity and 44.2% in mining. Between the 3rd trimester of 2017 and the same period of 2018, oil activity was plummeted by 25.8%.
  • Private consumption also registered a fall of 50%, while public spending fell by 32%.


  • 2018 closed with an accumulated inflation of 130,000%; cf 860% in 2017, 275% in 2016 and 181% in 2015.  
  • December 2017 was the first month with an inflation rate above 50% (55.6%). The maximum recorded is 196.6% in January 2019.
  • In 2019 the figures were 196.6% for January, 114.4% for February, 34.8% for March and 33.8% for April.

Trade balance

  • Between 2013 and 2018 exports fell by 62% and imports by 74%.
  • Public oil exports, excluding services, slumped from USD 86 billion in 2013 to almost USD  30 billion in 2018.
  • However, public and private non-oil exports increased 22.7% in that five-year period, reaching USD 3,8 billion in 2018.

Note that much of this data fails to tally with the estimates of the National Assembly or with those of international organizations and consulting firms, which point to an even deeper recession.

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