CARACAS, Monday November 12, 2012 | Update
TRADE | Through July, retail sales grew 8.71%

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

Imports of foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco climbed 29.9% (File photo)
Monday November 12, 2012  12:07 PM
Over the last three decades, Venezuela has constantly reported a high inflation rate. Both higher demand and low supply, together with rampant liquidity, push prices up. Nonetheless, unlike domestic production, sales have shot up and, ironically, inflation has slowed down. This is all due to vast imports.

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
The rock of discord

A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.

fotter Estampas
fotter Estampas