Venezuelan Economy Receives Lowest IMF Ranking in Decades

The IMF estimates inflation will reach 159 percent in Venezuela in 2015.
The IMF estimates inflation will reach 159 percent in Venezuela in 2015. (Notihoy)

EspañolThe Venezuelan economy now ranks seventh in Latin America, with a GDP half the size of neighboring Colombia, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF concluded its 2015 Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, on October 11, with a grim outlook for Latin American economies.

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According to the IMF, Peru has surpassed Venezuela with a GDP of US$179 billion. “Dependency on petroleum and the lack of productive alternatives” have caused the Venezuelan economy to plummet, writes the Spanish daily El País.

In the 1990s, Venezuela was Latin America’s fourth largest economy, behind Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. However, after several years of a Chavista administration, the country’s debt has increased significantly.

Though the government will not provide official statistics, Venezuelan economists Asdrúbal Oliveros and Gabriel Villamizar place the country’s debt at $249 billion as of August 2015, nearly 190 percent of its 131.6 billion GDP. The nation’s public debt stood at $40 billion when Hugo Chávez took power in 1999.

The country is going through a severe recession that could reduce its GDP by 10 percent this year, according to IMF estimates, up from 7 percent a couple of months ago. The international body also estimates that inflation will reach 159 percent this year, the highest in the world.

“Memoirs of Underdevelopment: For decades, Venezuela was Latin America’s fourth largest economy. Now it ranks seventh.”

Source: Semana.

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