Venezuela’s economy shrank 16.5 per cent in 2016, the government said on Thursday, as the oil-dependent nation continued to slump as a result of weak crude prices.
Venezuela’s government said the oil sector, the main source of foreign currency in the South American nation, contracted 9.9 per cent, while the non-oil economy decreased by 16.1 per cent.
The central bank has not released Venezuela’s gross domestic product data since 2015, when the economy fell 6.2 per cent, according to Reuters.
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s government blames the dismal situation on an “economic war” led by political adversaries with the help of the United States.
His opponents say the economic collapse is a direct result of 18 years of state-led socialist policies implemented by Maduro and his late predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
The government reported inflation rose 274.4 per cent in 2016, topping the 180.9 per cent it registered in 2015 and among the highest in the world.