Venezuelan economy shrank 12 pct in first quarter - congress
CARACAS, July 11 (Reuters) - Venezuela's economy contracted
12 percent in the first three months of this year compared with
the same quarter of 2017, the opposition-led congress said on
Wednesday, in another dramatic indication of the OPEC nation's
The government of President Nicolas Maduro stopped
publishing economic indicators nearly three years ago as
Venezuela's socialist economic system started falling apart, so
opposition legislators started doing their own calculations for
economic activity last year.
Lawmakers said the decline was driven by a steep drop in oil
production to roughly 30-year lows due to lack of investment, a
brain drain, corruption and crime.
"Socialism ruined the country," said economist and
opposition lawmaker Jose Guerra as he presented the results.
Earlier this week, congress estimated that Venezuelan
consumer prices rose 46,305 percent in the 12 months ending in
Leftist Maduro has insisted that the country's problems are
the result of an "economic war" led by the opposition business
leaders who arbitrarily raise prices.
(Reporte by Corina Pons
Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Richard Chang)
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