Venezuela’s economy grew 5.5 percent this year, led by housing construction and government services, the central bank estimated.
Construction grew 16.8 percent and government services expanded 5.2 percent, central bank President Nelson Merentes said, citing preliminary figures. Official gross domestic product data will be released in late February.
“We’re seeing the reactivation of the Venezuelan economy,” Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said today in comments broadcast on state television.
President Hugo Chavez raised spending on low-income housing and wages in the run up to the Oct. 7 election, widening the fiscal deficit to about 8.8 percent of GDP this year, according to calculations by Bank of America Corp.
Non-oil sector GDP rose 5.7 percent this year, while the oil industry expanded 1.4 percent, the central bank said.
Merentes declined to comment on future economic measures including any changes to the country’s currency controls.
To contact the reporters on this story: Jose Orozco in Caracas at email@example.com; Corina Pons in Caracas at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at email@example.com