Venezuelan domestic production lags behind skyrocketing sales
Unlike domestic production, in 2012 sales have shot up and, ironically, inflation has slowed down. This is all due to vast imports. The production/sales imbalance is commonly expressed in an increased price index
Information compiled by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) during the first seven months of the year reveals retail sales grew 8.71% with respect to the same period in 2011.
Meanwhile, private manufacturing production went up 3.32% during the same period, showing a clear downturn if compared with the figures recorded in 2011. As evident in the monthly report through July, BCV data shows that the highest growth occurred in July and May, increasing 7% and 6.5%, respectively, as against the figures reported in the same months in 2011.
In the meantime, retail sales peaked in June (15.22%) and March (13.88%) in contrast with those in the same period of 2011.
Except for January, when sales dropped 1.9% compared to 2011, private manufacturing production has lagged behind trade throughout 2012.
The imbalance between production and sales is commonly expressed in a higher price index, yet under rigid controls, the Venezuelan economy has been hit by shortage.
By the end of October, the goods shortage index hit its highest level since 2008 (16%). In fact, the BCV reports an average shortage of 15.5%, very close to the 15.6% recorded in 2008 and the 17.6% registered in 2007, the year with the highest shortage index ever measured.
In the meantime, imports continue growing. The BCV reported a 38% and 24% increase in the first and second quarter of the year.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.