Venezuela disputes IMF growth predictions

29 November 2010

Venezuela’s Central Bank said in November that the country should begin to pull out of recession with 2 per cent growth predicted for 2011, four times more than the IMF suggested. In its October World Economic Outlook report, the IMF blamed Venezuela’s poor fiscal policy for the economy’s continuing contraction in the second half of 2010 and said real GDP would decline by 1.3 per cent by the end of the year, before returning to growth of 0.5 per cent in 2011. Venezuelan finance minister Jorge Giordani disputed the report saying that "it’s the IMF that’s in crisis." Giordani added that the recent spate of nationalisation of private sector companies would push up production levels and help curb inflation. The IMF predicted that prices in Venezuela would rise by 29.2 percent in 2010, but the country’s central bank president Nelson Merentes expects inflation to end this year at 26 per cent.