Venezuela - Economic Indicators

In No Good Hands: The Venezuela Crisis

Jul 10, 2018

Download the full analysis, In No Good Hands: The Venezuela Crisis and Consequences for South America Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has solidified his grip on power following recent presidential elections, his victory all but ruling out prospects for a much-needed course correction in economic policy. This paper assesses the economic consequences for Venezuela and the rest of South America if Maduro serves out his new presidential term, and...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Real Gross Domestic Product 2015 Q3 14,303,628 13,902,903 Ths. 1997 VEF, NSA Quarterly
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2014 655,432,046,000 498,972,934,000 NCU Annual
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2014 16,462,970,000 19,814,193,000 NCU Annual
Real Private Consumption 2014 43,911,357 45,439,149 Thousands of 1997 VEF, NSA Annual
Private Consumption 2014 2,282,210,369 1,461,820,519 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Real Government Consumption 2014 11,717,868 11,643,284 Thousands of 1997 VEF, NSA Annual
Investment 2014 655,459,625 498,992,513 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Government Consumption 2014 442,663,056 278,233,589 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2014 3,031,242,431 2,245,843,966 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Real Investment 2014 16,463,844 19,815,245 Thousands of 1997 VEF, NSA Annual
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Dec 2015 2,146 2,010 2007=100, NSA Monthly
Producer Price Index (PPI) Dec 2013 2,480 2,434 1997=100, NSA Monthly
Wholesale Price Index Dec 2013 3,943 3,862 Index 1997=100, NSA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 1,504,676 1,424,617 # Annual
Unemployment Apr 2016 1,035,238 1,000,943 #, NSA Monthly
Unemployment Rate Apr 2016 7.33 7.08 %, NSA Monthly
Labor Force 2015 14,172,258 14,175,552 # Annual
Labor Force Employment 2015 13,205,905 13,189,773 # Annual
Wage & Salaries 2005 12,143,817,603 9,476,158,968 NCU Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods 2015 Q3 -782 3,330 Millions of US $, NSA Quarterly
Current Account Balance 2015 Q3 -5,050 -1,899 Millions US $, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods 2015 Q3 9,265 8,778 Millions of US $, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods 2015 Q3 8,483 12,108 Millions of US $, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2014 506,030,378 556,182,770 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2014 951,718,767 662,811,055 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2014 7,444,336 7,808,034 Thousands of 1997 VEF, NSA Annual
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2014 22,549,601 27,679,128 Thousands of 1997 VEF, NSA Annual
Real Net Exports 2014 -15,105,265 -19,871,094 Ths. 1997 VEF, NSA Annual
Net Exports 2014 -445,688,384 -106,628,288 Thousands of VEF, NSA Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Stock Market Index 19 Jul 2018 100,926 107,971 Index, NSA Business Daily
Lending Rate Feb 2018 29.5 29.5 % p.a., NSA Monthly
Money Market Rate Feb 2018 0.17 0.11 % p.a., NSA Monthly
Average Long-term Government Bond Dec 2016 14.24 14.49 % Monthly
Consumer Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Retail Sales Sep 2013 6,339 6,248 Index, 1997=100 Monthly
Real Retail Sales Sep 2013 6,339 6,248 Index, 1997=100 Monthly
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Real Change in Inventories 2014 2,823,327,000 5,208,353,000 NCU Annual
Change in Inventories 2014 96,625,349,000 113,445,208,483 NCU Annual
Industrial Production Sep 2013 119.96 121.49 1997=100, NSA Monthly
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2017 31,977,065 31,568,179 # Annual
Birth Rate 2016 19.03 19.32 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2016 5.61 5.57 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 -69,121 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Under Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, and his hand-picked successor, President Nicolas MADURO, the executive branch has exercised increasingly authoritarian control over other branches of government. In 2016, President MADURO issued a decree to hold an election to form a "Constituent Assembly." A 30 July 2017 poll approved the formation of a 545-member Constituent Assembly and elected its delegates, empowering them to change the constitution and dismiss government institutions and officials. The US Government does not recognize the Assembly, which has generally used its powers to rule by decree rather than to reform the constitution. Simultaneously, democratic institutions continue to deteriorate, freedoms of expression and the press are curtailed, and political polarization has grown. The ruling party's economic policies have expanded the state's role in the economy through expropriations of major enterprises, strict currency exchange and price controls that discourage private sector investment and production, and overdependence on the petroleum industry for revenues, among others. Current concerns include human rights abuses, rampant violent crime, high inflation, and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods, medicine, and medical supplies.

Geography

Location:
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 66 00 W
Map references:
South America
Area:
total: 912,050 sq km
land: 882,050 sq km
water: 30,000 sq km
country comparison to the world: 34
Area - comparative:
almost six times the size of Georgia; slightly more than twice the size of California
Area comparison map:
Land boundaries:
total: 5,267 km
border countries (3): Brazil 2,137 km, Colombia 2,341 km, Guyana 789 km
Coastline:
2,800 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 15 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Terrain:
Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
Elevation:
mean elevation: 450 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Bolivar 4,978 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
Land use:
agricultural land: 24.5%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 20.6%
forest: 52.1%
other: 23.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
10,550 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
most of the population is concentrated in the northern and western highlands along an eastern spur at the northern end of the Andes, an area that includes the capital of Caracas
Natural hazards:
subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed but not ratified:: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
on major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall (979 m)

People & Society

Population:
31,304,016 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
Nationality:
noun: Venezuelan(s)
adjective: Venezuelan
Ethnic groups:
Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
Languages:
Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Religions:
nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Demographic profile:
Social investment in Venezuela during the CHAVEZ administration reduced poverty from nearly 50% in 1999 to about 27% in 2011, increased school enrollment, substantially decreased infant and child mortality, and improved access to potable water and sanitation through social investment. "Missions" dedicated to education, nutrition, healthcare, and sanitation were funded through petroleum revenues. The sustainability of this progress remains questionable, however, as the continuation of these social programs depends on the prosperity of Venezuela's oil industry. In the long-term, education and health care spending may increase economic growth and reduce income inequality, but rising costs and the staffing of new health care jobs with foreigners are slowing development.
While CHAVEZ was in power, more than one million predominantly middle- and upper-class Venezuelans are estimated to have emigrated. The brain drain is attributed to a repressive political system, lack of economic opportunities, steep inflation, a high crime rate, and corruption. Thousands of oil engineers emigrated to Canada, Colombia, and the United States following CHAVEZ's firing of over 20,000 employees of the state-owned petroleum company during a 2002-03 oil strike. Additionally, thousands of Venezuelans of European descent have taken up residence in their ancestral homelands. Nevertheless, Venezuela has attracted hundreds of thousands of immigrants from South America and southern Europe because of its lenient migration policy and the availability of education and health care. Venezuela also has been a fairly accommodating host to Colombian refugees, numbering about 170,000 as of year-end 2016. However, since 2014, falling oil prices have driven a major economic crisis that has pushed Venezuelans from all walks of life to migrate or to seek asylum abroad to escape severe shortages of food, water, and medicine; soaring inflation; unemployment; and violence. Over the last 4 years, an estimated 4 million Venezuelans have migrated, often illegally, to Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, or taken perilous journeys by raft to Aruba and Curacao. Asylum applications increased significantly in the US and Brazil in 2016 and 2017. Although several receiving countries are making efforts to increase immigration restrictions and to deport illegal Venezuelan migrants, Venezuelans continue to migrate to avoid economic collapse at home.
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.36% (male 4,390,773/female 4,175,080)
15-24 years: 17.03% (male 2,707,934/female 2,624,031)
25-54 years: 40.53% (male 6,289,673/female 6,398,217)
55-64 years: 7.98% (male 1,198,525/female 1,299,498)
65 years and over: 7.09% (male 1,003,534/female 1,216,751) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 52.6
youth dependency ratio: 43
elderly dependency ratio: 9.5
potential support ratio: 10.5 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.3 years
male: 27.6 years
female: 29 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
Population growth rate:
1.24% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
Birth rate:
18.8 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
Death rate:
5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
Net migration rate:
-1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
Population distribution:
most of the population is concentrated in the northern and western highlands along an eastern spur at the northern end of the Andes, an area that includes the capital of Caracas
Urbanization:
urban population: 89.1% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.38% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
CARACAS (capital) 2.916 million; Maracaibo 2.196 million; Valencia 1.734 million; Maracay 1.166 million; Barquisimeto 1.039 million (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Maternal mortality ratio:
95 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76 years
male: 73 years
female: 79.1 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
Total fertility rate:
2.32 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
75% (2010)
Health expenditures:
5.3% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 132
Hospital bed density:
0.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 77.9% of population
total: 93.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
rural: 22.1% of population
total: 6.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 69.9% of population
total: 94.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 30.1% of population
total: 5.6% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.6% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
120,000 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,500 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
25.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 50
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
2.9% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 115
Education expenditures:
6.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 22
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.1%
male: 97%
female: 97.2% (2016 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: NA
female: NA (2009)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 14.6%
male: NA
female: NA (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela
etymology: native stilt-houses built on Lake Maracaibo reminded early explorers Alonso de OJEDA and Amerigo VESPUCCI in 1499 of buildings in Venice and so they named the region "Venezuola," which in Italian means "Little Venice"
Government type:
federal presidential republic
Capital:
name: Caracas
geographic coordinates: 10 29 N, 66 52 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 capital district* (distrito capital), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies)**, Distrito Capital (Capital District)*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia
note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands
Independence:
5 July 1811 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 5 July (1811)
Constitution:
many previous; latest adopted 15 December 1999, effective 30 December 1999; amended 2009 (2016)
Legal system:
civil law system based on the Spanish civil code
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Tareck EL AISSAMI (since 4 January 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Tareck EL AISSAMI (since 4 January 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 6-year term (no term limits); election last held on 20 May 2018 (next election scheduled for 2024)
election results: Nicolas MADURO Moros reelected president; percent of vote - Nicolas MADURO Moros (PSUV) 68%, Henri FALCON (AP) 21%, Javier BERTUCCI 11%; note - the election was marked by serious shortcomings and electoral fraud; voter turnout was approximately 46% due largely to an opposition boycott of the election
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (167 seats; 113 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 51 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote, and 3 seats reserved for indigenous peoples of Venezuela; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 December 2015 (next expected to be held in 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - MUD (opposition coalition) 56.2%, PSUV (pro-government) 40.9%, other 2.9%; seats by party - MUD 109, PSUV 55, indigenous peoples 3
note: in mid-2016, President MADURO issued a decree to hold an election to form a "Constituent Assembly; a poll in July 2017 approved the formation of a 545-member Constituent Assembly and elected its delegates, empowering them to change the constitution and dismiss government institutions and officials
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Tribunal of Justice (consists of 32 judges organized into 6 divisions - constitutional, political administrative, electoral, civil appeals, criminal appeals, and social (mainly agrarian and labor issues)
judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by the Committee of Judicial Postulation (an independent body of organizations dealing with legal issues and of the organs of citizen power) and appointed by the National Assembly; judges serve nonrenewable 12-year terms
note: in July 2017, the National Assembly named 33 judges to the court to replace a series of judges, it argued, had been illegally appointed in late 2015 by the outgoing lame-duck, socialist-party-led Assembly; the Government of President Maduro and the socialist-party-appointed judges refused to recognize these appointments, however, and many of the new judges have since been imprisoned or forced into exile
subordinate courts: Superior or Appeals Courts (Tribunales Superiores); District Tribunals (Tribunales de Distrito); Courts of First Instance (Tribunales de Primera Instancia); Parish Courts (Tribunales de Parroquia); Justices of the Peace (Justicia de Paz) Network
Political parties and leaders:
A New Time or UNT [Manuel ROSALES]
Brave People's Alliance or ABP [Richard BLANCO]
Christian Democrats or COPEI [Roberto ENRIQUEZ]
Coalition of opposition parties -- The Democratic Unity Table or MUD [Jose Luis CARTAYA]
Communist Party of Venezuela or PCV [Oscar FIGUERA]
Democratic Action or AD [Henry RAMOS ALLUP]
Fatherland for All or PPT [Rafael UZCATEGUI]
For Social Democracy or PODEMOS [Didalco Antonio BOLIVAR GRATEROL]
Justice First or PJ [Julio BORGES]
Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Segundo MELENDEZ]
Popular Will or VP [Leopoldo LOPEZ]
Progressive Wave or AP [Henri FALCON]
The Radical Cause or La Causa R [Americo DE GRAZIA]
United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV [Nicolas MADURO]
Venezuelan Progressive Movement or MPV [Simon CALZADILLA]
Venezuela Project or PV [Henrique Fernando SALAS FEO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Bolivarian and Socialist Workers' Union (a ruling-party-oriented organized labor union)
Confederacion Venezolana de Industriales or Coindustria (a conservative business group)
Consejos Comunales (pro-government local communal councils)
Federation of Chambers and Associations of Commerce and Production of Venezuela or FEDECAMARAS (a conservative business group)
Union of Oil Workers of Venezuela or FUTPV
Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (opposition-oriented labor organization)
other: various civil society groups and human rights organizations
International organization participation:
Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Carlos Julio RON Martinez (since February 2017)
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214
FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires (vacant); note - due to strained relations between the US and Venezuelan Governments, neither country has shared ambassadors since 2010; on 22 May 2018, Venezuelan President Nicolas MADURO declared Charge d'Affaires Todd D. ROBINSON and his deputy persona non grata and ordered them expelled
embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Urbanizacion Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1080
mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
telephone: [58] (212) 975-6411, 907-8400 (after hours)
FAX: [58] (212) 907-8199
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band; the flag retains the three equal horizontal bands and three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; yellow is interpreted as standing for the riches of the land, blue for the courage of its people, and red for the blood shed in attaining independence; the seven stars on the original flag represented the seven provinces in Venezuela that united in the war of independence; in 2006, then President Hugo CHAVEZ ordered an eighth star added to the star arc - a decision that sparked much controversy - to conform with the flag proclaimed by Simon Bolivar in 1827 and to represent the historic province of Guayana
National symbol(s):
troupial (bird); national colors: yellow, blue, red
National anthem:
name: "Gloria al bravo pueblo" (Glory to the Brave People)
lyrics/music: Vicente SALIAS/Juan Jose LANDAETA
note: adopted 1881; lyrics written in 1810, the music some years later; both SALIAS and LANDAETA were executed in 1814 during Venezuela's struggle for independence

Economy

Economy - overview:
Venezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for almost all export earnings and nearly half of the government’s revenue, despite a continued decline in oil production in 2017. In 2017, in the absence of official statistics, foreign experts estimate that GDP contracted 12%, inflation exceeded 2000%, people faced widespread shortages of consumer goods and medicine, and central bank international reserves dwindled. In late 2017, Venezuela also entered selective default on some of its sovereign and PDVSA bonds. Domestic production and industry continues to severely underperform and the Venezuelan government continues to rely on imports to meet its basic food and consumer goods needs.
Falling oil prices since 2014 have aggravated Venezuela’s economic crisis. Insufficient access to dollars, price controls, and rigid labor regulations have led some US and multinational firms to reduce or shut down their Venezuelan operations. Market uncertainty and state oil company PDVSA’s poor cash flow have slowed investment in the petroleum sector, resulting in a decline in oil production.
Under President Nicolas MADURO, the Venezuelan Government’s response to the economic crisis has been to increase state control over the economy and blame the private sector for shortages. MADURO has given authority for the production and distribution of basic goods to the military and to local socialist party member committees. The Venezuelan Government has maintained strict currency controls since 2003. The government has been unable to sustain its mechanisms for distributing dollars to the private sector, in part because it needed to withhold some foreign exchange reserves to make its foreign bond payments. As a result of price and currency controls, local industries have struggled to purchase production inputs necessary to maintain their operations or sell goods at a profit on the local market. Expansionary monetary policies and currency controls have created opportunities for arbitrage and corruption and fueled a rapid increase in black market activity.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$389.4 billion (2017 est.)
$442.5 billion (2016 est.)
$529.6 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 48
GDP (official exchange rate):
$215.3 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-12% (2017 est.)
-16.5% (2016 est.)
-6.2% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$12,400 (2017 est.)
$14,300 (2016 est.)
$17,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 125
Gross national saving:
8.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 73.8%
government consumption: 17.8%
investment in fixed capital: 15%
investment in inventories: 1.6%
exports of goods and services: 8.6%
imports of goods and services: -16.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 4.4%
industry: 38.2%
services: 57.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products:
corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish
Industries:
agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products, crude oil and petroleum products
Industrial production growth rate:
-2% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
Labor force:
14.21 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 7.3%
industry: 21.8%
services: 70.9% (4th quarter, 2011)
Unemployment rate:
26.4% (2017 est.)
20.6% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
Population below poverty line:
19.7% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 32.7% (2006 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39 (2011 est.)
49.5 (1998 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Budget:
revenues: $77.89 billion
expenditures: $160 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
36.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-38.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219
Public debt:
25.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
39.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover central government debt, as well as the debt of state-owned oil company PDVSA; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include some debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; some debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
country comparison to the world: 176
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
652.7% (2017 est.)
254.4% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 227
Central bank discount rate:
29.5% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
23.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
20.78% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
Stock of narrow money:
$145.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$163.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
Stock of broad money:
$159.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$165.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Stock of domestic credit:
$194.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$339.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$25.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.143 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.991 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
Current account balance:
$-947 million (2017 est.)
$-3.87 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
Exports:
$29.16 billion (2017 est.)
$27.2 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, bauxite and aluminum, minerals, chemicals, agricultural products
Exports - partners:
US 35.1%, India 17.2%, China 14.1%, Netherlands Antilles 8%, Singapore 5.3%, Cuba 4.1% (2016)
Imports:
$17.75 billion (2017 est.)
$20.19 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
Imports - commodities:
agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products
Imports - partners:
US 22.1%, China 14.3%, Brazil 7.4%, Colombia 4.2% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.696 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$10.99 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
Debt - external:
$103.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$109.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$36.36 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$33.78 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$32.47 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$31.12 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Exchange rates:
bolivars (VEB) per US dollar -
437.1 (2017 est.)
48.07 (2016 est.)
48.07 (2015 est.)
13.72 (2014 est.)
6.28 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 100,000
electrification - total population: 99.7%
electrification - urban areas: 99.8%
electrification - rural areas: 98.6% (2013)
Electricity - production:
114.4 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
Electricity - consumption:
73.99 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
32.17 million kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
52.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
47.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
Crude oil - production:
2.277 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
Crude oil - exports:
1.514 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
Crude oil - proved reserves:
300.9 billion bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Refined petroleum products - production:
1.028 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
747,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
Refined petroleum products - exports:
402,300 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
Refined petroleum products - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
Natural gas - production:
26 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
Natural gas - consumption:
39.62 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
Natural gas - imports:
500 million cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
Natural gas - proved reserves:
5.701 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
188 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 7,660,417
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 25 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 27,600,893
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 88 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern and expanding
domestic: two domestic satellite systems with three earth stations; recent substantial improvement in telephone service in rural areas; installation of a national interurban fiber-optic network capable of digital multimedia services; three major providers operate the mobile market; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership about 115 per 100 persons
international: country code - 58; submarine cable systems provide connectivity to Cuba and the Caribbean, Central and South America, and US; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 PanAmSat; participating with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in the construction of an international fiber-optic network (2016)
Broadcast media:
government supervises a mixture of state-run and private broadcast media; 13 public service networks, 61 privately owned TV networks, a privately owned news channel with limited national coverage, and a government-backed Pan-American channel; state-run radio network includes roughly 65 news stations and another 30 stations targeted at specific audiences; state-sponsored community broadcasters include 235 radio stations and 44 TV stations; the number of private broadcast radio stations has been declining, but many still remain in operation (2014)
Internet country code:
.ve
Internet users:
total: 18,547,381
percent of population: 60.0% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 17
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 122
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 6,456,853
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 6,204,085 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
YV (2016)
Airports:
444 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 19
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 127
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 33
914 to 1,523 m: 62
under 914 m: 17 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 317
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 57
914 to 1,523 m: 127
under 914 m: 130 (2013)
Heliports:
3 (2013)
Pipelines:
extra heavy crude 981 km; gas 5,941 km; oil 7,588 km; refined products 1,778 km (2013)
Railways:
total: 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (41.4 km electrified) (2014)
country comparison to the world: 117
Roadways:
total: 96,189 km (2014)
country comparison to the world: 50
Waterways:
7,100 km (Orinoco River (400 km) and Lake de Maracaibo navigable by oceangoing vessels) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 20
Merchant marine:
total: 267
by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 1, general cargo 31, oil tanker 24, other 207 (2017)
country comparison to the world: 57
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): La Guaira, Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello, Punta Cardon
oil terminal(s): Jose terminal

Military & Security

Military expenditures:
1% of GDP (2015)
1.16% of GDP (2014)
1.43% of GDP (2013)
1.3% of GDP (2012)
0.75% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 113
Military branches:
Bolivarian National Armed Forces (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB): Bolivarian Army (Ejercito Bolivariano, EB), Bolivarian Navy (Armada Bolivariana, AB; includes Naval Infantry, Coast Guard, Naval Aviation), Bolivarian Military Aviation (Aviacion Militar Bolivariana, AMB; includes Air National Guard), Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivaria, GNB), Bolivarian Militia (Milicia Bolivariana, NMB) (2016)
Military service age and obligation:
all citizens of military service age (18-60 years old) are obligated to register for military service, though mandatory recruitment is forbidden; the minimum service obligation is 12 months (2016)
Maritime threats:
the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial and offshore waters in the Caribbean Sea as at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen; in 2016, there were five attacks reported and this increased to six attacks in the first half of 2017 making Venezuela the fourth most dangerous area in the World

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
claims all of the area west of the Essequibo River in Guyana, preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; dispute with Colombia over maritime boundary and Venezuelan administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Venezuela's shared border region; US, France, and the Netherlands recognize Venezuela's granting full effect to Aves Island, thereby claiming a Venezuelan Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf extending over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea; Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines protest Venezuela's full effect claim
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 171,920 (Colombia) (2016)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Venezuela is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Venezuelan women and girls, sometimes lured from poor interior regions to urban and tourist areas, are trafficked for sexual exploitation within the country, as well as in the Caribbean; Venezuelan children are exploited, frequently by their families, in domestic servitude; people from South America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa are sex and labor trafficking victims in Venezuela; thousands of Cuban citizens, particularly doctors, who work in Venezuela on government social programs in exchange for the provision of resources to the Cuban Government experience conditions of forced labor
tier rating: Tier 3 – Venezuela does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the government appeared to increase efforts to hold traffickers criminally accountable, but a lack of government data made anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts difficult to assess; publically available information indicated many cases pursued under anti-trafficking law involved illegal adoption rather than sex and labor trafficking; authorities identified a small number of trafficking victims, and victim referrals to limited government services were made on an ad hoc basis; because no specialized facilities are available for trafficking victims, women and child victims accessed centers for victims of domestic violence or at-risk youth, and services for men were virtually non-existent; NGOs provided some services to sex and labor trafficking victims; Venezuela has no permanent anti-trafficking interagency body, no national anti-trafficking plan, and still has not passed anti-trafficking legislation drafted in 2010 (2015)
Illicit drugs:
small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border

Economic Indicators for Venezuela including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Venezuela economy.