BREAKING: Central Bank Posts Inflation, Other Numbers


As Luis Salas was announcing his Economic Emergency Decree, the Central Bank of Venezuela posted inflation, GDP and Balance of Payments data through QIII 2015. 

Anywhere else in the world, this report would be routine. In Venezuela, where such data hadn’t been published in over a year, the data dump is anything but.

Salas’s decree – a mixture of vagueness and more-of-the-same – looks to me like an elaborate misdirection stunt to draw attention away from the carnage reported in the BCV Communiqué.

[Some people are having trouble with the link above. We have, of course, saved our own copy of the report, which you can see here.]



Inflation in the first nine months of the year was 109%, for an annualized rate of 141%. That’s the highest annualized inflation rate in Venezuela since records began to be kept.

It’s the first official inflation report published in over a year.

In the third quarter of last year alone, the food prices rose 55.7%.

The communiqué cites “lineal econometrics studies” to blame for 60% of the rise in prices!


In QIII last year, GDP contracted 7.1% year-on-year, the 7th straight quarter in recession. The sector data is grim, with five major sector showing year-on-year falls of more than 10%:

  • Construction: -20.2% (!!!!)
  • Financial institutions: -14.4%
  • Commerce : -12.8%
  • Manufacturing: -11.1%
  • Transport and storage: -10.7%

Only Telecoms and Government Services grew (2.2% and 1%, respectively.)

No data was published for QIV 2015.

Balance of Payments

The Current Account in the 3rd quarter alone showed a deficit of $5.05 billion, including a $782 million trade deficit…at a time when Venezuela’s average oil export price was a comparatively healthy $44.65/barrel. (In 2016 so far that average is $25.93/barrel.)

Final Word

To an economist, it all reads like an autopsy report, laced with excuses and an obsessive concern with blame-shifting.

Perhaps the most sobering part is that at the end of announcing these shocking figures, BCV concludes, incongruously, saying that “all the conditions are now in place for this productive model to generate social well-being for the Venezuelan population”!!!

todas las condiciones


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  1. The real carnage is yet to come: the economic emergency decree will effectively eliminate any vestiges of AN power over the economics/social spending of the Country, by seeking approval by the TSJ, even though pro-forma it will be presented to the AN for their approval; remaining (few) major private basic goods producers can/ (likely will) be taken over by the Govt.; all is the fault of the war on the Bolivarian Revolution by the international oil conspiracy, and the “Guerra Economica” at home. OT, Venezuelan crude today is slightly above $20/bbl, approximately its average cost of production.

    • Nevertheless, look at the “good side” of chavizmo taking ALL the power in economic issues: How are they gonna shift the blame, now that the assembly will relentlessly make known to everybody and their mothers that chavizmo is plunging Venezuela to a massive famine because a combination of gargantuan corruption coupled with an obsession to keep socializm-communism as the economic model?

      Yes, hegemoncorp still counts with an inmense media apparatus they will use to launch constant attacks towards the AN, claiming that they are the ones to blame for all this because “no dejan trabajar” to maburro.

      • The only really relevant question in the Govt.’s continuing massive screw-up of the economy, is, WHO is that (unmasked) horse-mounted man on the wall above the heads of Maduro/Aristobulo in the photo illustrating this post–why, it’s probably the traditional rendering of Bolivar riding to the rescue (over the floored photos of Zambo Bolivar and Zambo Chavez).

  2. They are “appropriately” marketing this as the year 2015 inflation…
    Caracas, 15 Ene. AVN.- El Índice Nacional de Precios al Consumidor (INPC) cerró el año 2015 en 141,5%, de acuerdo con el informe publicado este viernes por el Banco Central de Venezuela.

    • This may be the most infuriating subplot of the whole thing!!!


  3. “all the conditions are now in place for this productive model to generate social well-being for the Venezuelan population”!!!

    Love the passive-voiced end that adds to the original:

    “… especially those who have not achieved their inclusion in the established social system.”

  4. Right. 141% inflation and negative growth are excellent conditions for generating social well being for those people who have not yet succeeded in being included in the established social system. What does this even mean? The extremely poor will soon have lots more company?

    • It means that after 17 years, finally, finally all conditions are in place, so that the productive model can even include into the social fabric the more marginalized of citizens who could not be included before.

      It also means that one has to be a complete moron to buy this cr*p.

    • What War?… there was never a War but “burdas escusas” for the dangerous cocktail of ineptitude and total pillage of the public funds as well criminal complicity in massive narcotics trade, total and complete power abuse, gross human rights violations and complete and obscene disregard for the “Pueblo” well-being falsely disguised under “Missions” whose only objective was “cuanto hay pa mi”…


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