Venezuelan Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said Thursday that unemployment stood at 5.9% in December of 2012, the country’s lowest rate least since 1999. He pointed to strong economic growth last year of 5.2% and predicted more growth in 2013.
“It’s the lowest in recent years,” Giordani said in a speech at the Bank of Venezuela. “In Venezuela, we need an even more prepared workforce through increased education, strengthening health and the housing program.”
The minister projected that the Venezuelan economy is expected to grow around six percent this year, driven by social and productive investment by the government, which he said will contribute $500 billion dollars to strengthening the economy over the next six years.
“Nobody denies that Venezuela will grow in 2013, not the World Bank nor the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), or the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The discussion is about how much,” said Giordani.
He said the World Bank projects 1.8% growth, ECLAC projects 2% growth, and the IMF expects 3.2%.
Giordani said that construction will continue to be a central motor of the economy in 2013. This year, the government’s Great Housing Mission plans to build 380,000 units (compared to the 200,080 it built last year).
“The Venezuelan economy is an example that allows us to defeat the myth that the public sector doesn’t work and it shows that you can compete with private services. Since February 2, 1999, we have been creating a new financial system complemented by the legal framework developed by the National Assembly in 2009. That’s why Venezuela has a bright economic outlook,” he said.
AVN / Press-Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / January 18, 2013