Have you seen the latest economic indicators? Didn't think so.

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MISSING: The latest official GDP, inflation and scarcity rate reports from the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV).

For those of us living in Venezuela, you only need a short stroll to your local market to see the current state of our economy. However, there’s always the need to have some sort of statistical confirmation.

Too bad the Central Bank has stopped reporting on some of those important numbers in the last few months, at least publicly.

What started last December with an unusual twenty-day delay in the release of the November inflation rate has turned into a complete blackout of information. The last BCV report on inflation was from May. Yes, there have been alleged leaks on the June and July numbers, but the BCV has neither confirmed nor denied them.

Those are not the only figures being kept under wraps. The last scarcity rate report is from March, and no recent GDP or balance of payments numbers have been released either. Many economists are complaining that the BCV, along with the Finance Ministry and the National Statistics Institute (INE), are keeping official statstics hidden in recent years, making difficult to analyze the state of our economy.

What’s the response of the central government to all of this? In three words: NO. BIG. DEAL.

PSUV Deputy Ricardo Sanguino, who isthe head of the National Assembly’s Finance Commission, said that the BCV doesn’t have any legal mandate to release those indicators in a certain deadline. They can do so whenever they please.

But the Central Bank is still considering alternatives. Earlier this month, there were reports that both the BCV and the INE would change the methodology to measure inflation from the currently used Laspeyres index to the Paasche index. Also, the newest member of the BCV board of directors, Sohail Hernández, has allegedly proposed to stop releasing the indicators. Instead, those who are interested in knowing those figures would have go to the BCV in person and formally request them.

As we enter a new month with no major changes to the government’s economic policies, the official line of blocking access to public information is still on the march. Now, it comes with the approval from the highest court in the land.

1 COMMENT

  1. Para los que entiendan español permítame recomendarles el comentario del intelectual español Antonio Escohotado en el minuto 13:20 de este video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XovckdWCuM8 En menos de un minuto explica el origen de la riqueza de los países en función de su ética. Desde todos los respetos al pueblo venezolano, no puedo estar más de acuerdo con lo que dice. Esta es una aproximación más, un intento de explicación de algo tan complejo, poliédrico y difícil como la situación que vive Venezuela actualmente. Creo que merece ser escuchada.
    (para los que no conozcan a Escohotado, su web es escohotado.org. Ha escrito ultimamente mucho y bien sobre el caos de las economías bajo control y el orden que surge en las economías libres )

    • I agree: since I left Venezuela (mid 1990’s) the country has changed immeasurably for the worse and one of the most startling aspects is how ‘el pueblo’ (obviously generalising) has changed from being instantly and universally friendly and helpful to being aggressive and selfish; more likely to insult or cause a scene or even start a fight than say sorry if they bumped into you in the street.

      • We ain’t aliens, just normal humans. Social psychologists from Venezuela and abroad have rested their case on that plenty of times. Do your homework and find out.

    • Que bolas estos carajos jaja… O sea, disociados profesionales disfrazados de rojo, en lo que un dia fue casa de la cultura venezolan rezandole al fiambre comunista. Pero ojo, entiendan que su única religión es el no-trabajo: ellos viven de vestirse de rojo y declamar estupideces como las del video.
      Es bien difícil sentir algo distinto a un profundo asco por esta gente. Le “rezan” porque el fiambre les cumplió su sueño de vivir sin trabajar, de tener casa sin esfuerzo, de venganza social contra lo que si trabajaron y acumularon bienes materiales.
      Estamos mal, pero estamos todos mal! Ese es su consuelo, el resentimiento es su motor.
      Honestamente, yo sé que somos caribes y que el mestizaje posiblemente nos creó propensión a la anarquía…pero lo que está pasando en mi ex país es sencillamente ridículo.
      La recuperación de Venezuela va a ser una labor profiláctica, más que de batalla de ideas (…)

  2. Guess that if the regime denies people any access to data which allows them to asses the performance or operating status of public bodies, its because disclosing such data will show things which hurt its political image and permit it to be criticized . So in this sense we can surmise that in Venezuela “no news is BAD news”.

    The regime has substituted the principle of govt transparency with one of govt opacity , The operations of govt are to be put in a black box to deny its critics any data which they can use to asses the regimes failures and dysfunctional performance. You only conceal what makes you look bad , never what makes you look good. In itself this policy of hiding information from the public represents a form of self incrimination .!!.

  3. Just give me detailed finances of PDVSA, Maduro, Cabello, the AN, and other top Chavistas. The opacity is to protect their assets.

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