Despite oil riches, Venezuela's economy is sinking into decline

04/29/2010 | Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The

Venezuela, one of the world's major oil producers, is falling deeper into economic crisis, economists said. The economy contracted 3.3% last year, and the International Monetary Fund predicted a 2% decline this year. "The reason Venezuela is contracting is because private activity is contracting," said Augusto de la Torre, the World Bank's chief economist for Latin America. "What we're seeing in Venezuela is a phenomenon where productivity, private activity and private business is falling."

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