Venezuelan imports jump to highest level in 16 years
The public sector's imports soared 64%
A significant expansion of the Venezuelan government s public spending has led to higher consumption, but the country s economy has little capacity to meet increased demand. Consequently, there is no other choice than turning to a historic increase in imports, which has started to put pressure on public accounts.
Imports totaled USD 13.19 billion in the first quarter, a 48.5% hike over the same period in 2011 and the highest level for the first three months of the year since 1997.
Each one-point increase in GDP translated into an 8.6-point growth of imports. Purchases abroad amount to 32.6% of total supply of goods and services in the Venezuelan economy. In the last 10 years, such indicator averaged 26%.
The public sector's imports soared 64% and focused mainly on food items such as milk powder, sugar, rice and corn, among others.
The private sector's imports increased by 41% and included mainly chemicals, machinery for agriculture and oils.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."