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LatinNews Daily - 22 July 2021

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In brief: Economic activity in Venezuela continues to decline, says think-tank

* The Observatorio Venezolano de Finanzas (OVF), an independent economic think-tank created by members of Venezuela’s political opposition, has published its index of economic activity (IAEM) for the second quarter of 2021. According to the OVF, economic activity in April-June was down 3% year-on-year, but increased by 8.36% compared with the previous quarter. The OVF stated that the quarterly increase in economic activity was driven by “a slight increase in oil production”, which experienced a rise of 8.5% compared to Q1, but was down 2.4% year-on-year. However, the OVF reported a serious decline in the public sector’s economic activity, which it said declined by 40% quarterly and by 70% year-on-year. Decreases in activity were also reported in the financial sector with the OVF reporting a quarterly decrease of 19.8%, and a year-on-year decline of 55.2%. The think-tank said that Venezuela’s GDP is expected to grow by 4% this year if the current oil production rate of 540,000 barrels per day is maintained.