Venezuela’s Economy Shrank 5% in 2015

A woman sells food at a street stand in Paraguachon, on the Colombia-Venezuela border, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expanded an anti-smuggling offensive along the country's frontier with Colombia and ordered the closure of the main border crossing in the country's biggest state. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Venezuela’s economy contracted by 5 percent in 2015, the country’s President Nicolas Maduro announced at a Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit held in Ecuador.

Venezuela managed to keep extreme poverty at 4.7 percent “in a year where we had a reduction of 70% of income, where we had a[n] [economic] decrease of 5%, where we had a very inflationary economy dependent on imports,” Maduro said as quoted by El Comercio on Wednesday.

On January 15, Maduro declared an economic emergency in Venezuela. The announcement came two days after Venezuela’s oil price dropped to $24 a barrel, the lowest mark in 12 years. Up to 96 percent of Venezuela’s budget depends on oil revenues.

Maduro accepted partial blame for the economic situation in the country in an address to the National Economic Council last week, stressing that Venezuela needs to replace all sources of income from oil with other sources.




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