Venezuela: Poverty almost halves in past decade


The president of Venezuela's National Statistics Institute (INE), Elias Eljuri, said on August 7 that since Hugo Chavez took office in 1999, "Poverty has been dropping ... from 49% in 1998 to 26.4% in 2009".

Eljuri cited the INE's national survey of 40,000 homes.

The INE also released inflation statistics for the month of July, showing 2.1% inflation, slightly higher than the previous month. Accumulated inflation so far this year is 13.1%, significantly lower than the 17.3% accumulated inflation during the first seven months of 2008.

The unemployment rate in June was 7.8%, the INE's most recent report said. This is slightly higher than the unemployment rate in June of last year, which was 7.6%. The unemployment rate in Venezuela when Chavez took office 10 years ago was 15%.

[Abridged from]