Bolivia's fast growing economy fuelled by social spending

The Bolivian government said the Andean nation’s gross domestic product grew US$34 billion last year, establishing it as one of the fastest growing economies in the region.

Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera said that the country’s Social Community Productive Economic Model allowed for the economy to grow, despite a fall in prices for raw materials.

“In 1996 the Bolivian economy accounted for $5.3 billion and by 2005, $9.5 billion dollars,” Garcia said.

He explained that in the nine years from 1996 to 2005, the economy grew by 77%. But from 2006 to 2014, since the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) has been in power, the GDP grew by 357%.

MAS also oversaw an official name change for the country to the Plurinational State of Bolivia, to complement a change in national mindset towards recognising the dozens of indigenous nations in the country. Garcia said this shift in governance and national policy has helped the growth.

“What has happened in plurinational times? The average income for Bolivians went from $1035 to $3186, a rise of 307%. In neoliberal times, the average income of each Bolivian, grew just 11%. This is a successful economic model.”

In 1996, the country’s average income was only $930 and in 2005, the figure rose to just $1035 per year.

Garcia also noted the cut in poverty in the country under MAS, which official figures show has dropped from 34% to 18.7%.

Morales has served as Bolivia’s president since 2006 and implemented a series of economic and political policies that favour national growth and access to social services for all Bolivians.

[Reprinted from .]

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