CARACAS Nov 22 Oil-exporting Venezuela is in
recession, its socialist President Hugo Chavez said on
Saturday, adding that the capitalist system of measuring
economic growth was established in the United States.
"When an economy shrinks instead of grows, according to the
norms established by international capitalism, then it enters
into recession," he said during a five-hour speech to
inaugurate a party congress.
"GDP fell in the third quarter, and so we entered a
recession, according to the patterns elaborated in the United
States," he said.
Venezuela's economy contracted an unexpected 4.5 percent in
the third quarter, a second consecutive three-month contraction
that most economists' define as a recession.
Until now, the government avoided using the word.
Chavez says the normal method of measuring a country's
gross domestic product does not sufficiently weigh social
services and publicly owned enterprises. He has called for the
measurement to be revised in Venezuela.
Chavez has nationalized many of Venezuela's major
industries, along with some food production, telecommunications
Many in the private sector say his policies have a chilling
effect on manufacturing, which fell by nine percent in the
Venezuela enjoyed a five-year boom of fast growth fed by
soaring oil prices and lavish social spending but it came to an
abrupt halt this year when global oil prices crashed. Prices
have recovered somewhat but the economy has yet to follow
(Reporting by Eyanir Chinea and Julio Uribarry; Writing by
Frank Jack Daniel, editing by Philip Barbara)
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