Country Listing

Venezuela Table of Contents



Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Approximately US$58 billion in 1988; per capita income roughly US$3,100. Growth has been tied to status of world oil market. Strong growth during 1970s was followed by rapid decline in early 1980s. Limited economic reforms carried out by administration of President Jaime Lusinchi (1984-89) restored modest growth in 1985-88. Broader reforms instituted by President Carlos Andrés Pérez (1989-) likely to hamper growth in short term in favor of establishing steady growth pattern in long term.

Services: Government and other services (including utilities) accounted for 39.7 percent of GDP in 1988. Commerce accounted for additional 19.6 percent.

Industry: Accounted for a combined 34.8 percent of GDP in 1988. Subsectors included manufacturing (17.1 percent of GDP), petroleum (12.8 percent), and construction (4.9 percent). Output mostly for domestic market except for processed petroleum and minerals.

Agriculture: Accounted for 5.9 percent of GDP in 1988. Output focused almost entirely on domestic market.

Exchange Rate: Venezuelan bolívar (B) placed on a floating exchange rate in 1989, following a number of official devaluations of currency from 1983 to 1989. In late-1990, exchange rate declined to B43 = US$1.

Exports: Approximately US$10.8 billion in 1989, down severely from 1981 peak of US$20.1 billion. Petroleum and petrochemicals normally accounted for at least 80 percent of export value.

Imports: Approximately US$10.9 billion in 1988, down from peak of US$11.7 billion in 1982. Raw materials represented 44 percent of 1988 imports, followed by machinery (26 percent), transportation equipment (16 percent), and consumer goods (15 percent).

Balance of Payments: Deficit of US$4.7 billion in 1988 mainly result of falling oil prices. Capital outflows and foreign debt payments also contributed to negative balance of payments trend in late 1980s.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Data as of December 1990