Foreign Policy Blogs

Venezuelan Economy Still Struggling

Although oil prices recently reached a 1-year high, the Venezuelan economy continues to struggle. Last week the government announced a series of steps intended to promote growth and raise employment, while reducing inflation. More information can be found here.

In terms of specifics, the Venezuelan economy grew at 4.8% last year, but GDP declined by 2.4% in the most recent quarter. Meanwhile, inflation is predicted to reach 27% for 2009, an unsurprising estimate – it seems that every week I entered a grocery store this spring the prices had gone up.

Imported products, which make up a significant portion of items since Venezuelan has relatively weak national food industries, were particularly expensive. One positive, however, was the personal health impact – the high costs kept me from buying too many name-brand cookies.



David D. Sussman

David D. Sussman is currently a PhD Candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University), in Boston, Massachusetts. Serving as a fellow at the Feinstein International Center, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the lives of Colombian refugees and economic migrants in Caracas, Venezuela. David has worked on a variety of migrant issues that include the health of displaced persons, domestic resettlement of refugees, and structured labor-migration programs. He holds a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School, where he studied the integration of Somali and Salvadoran immigrants. David has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and is fluent in Spanish. He has lived in Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Venezuela, and also traveled throughout Latin America. In his free time David enjoys reading up on international news, playing soccer, cooking arepas, and dancing salsa casino. Areas of Focus: Latin America; Migration; Venezuela.