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On Friday, 4 December OPEC decided to forgo an artificial - and rarely upheld - ceiling on crude oil output and maintain current crude oil production volumes, even as markets brace for an increase of Iranian oil in global markets. The decision by OPEC left Venezuela - one of the members of the cartel most seriously affected by the decline in oil prices - without any hope for improvement in external economic conditions right before the elections. And what a historic elections these were, with the opposition winning the majority of seats in the National Assembly for the first time since the late President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999. 

Venezuela is struggling with the worst crisis in decades, a harsh reality for the President's party in the lead up to the elections. Many Venezuelans, faced with chronic shortages and triple-digit inflation, wonder how their country, an OPEC member with more oil than Saudi Arabia, has made them feel so poor.

In general, the national economy has followed a path reminiscent of its performance during the 1980's oil glut, however, based on a number of indicators, the current situation looks worse. As Jose Manuel Puente, an economist at Caracas' Institute of Advanced Studies in Administration, said, Venezuela has "performance so negative it's comparable to a country at war during a time of peace." 

In today's Viz of the Day Knoema presents overview of Venezuela's economic situation based on the most recent available estimates and projections by leading international institutions such as International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation, International Energy Agency and others.  

Economic conditions               Foreign trade and investment               Oil reserves and production 

Sources: IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO), April 2017World Bank Global Economic Monitor,  Monthly UpdateIADB Statistics; WTO Short-term merchandise trade statistics, Monthly UpdateIMF Direction of Trade (DOTS)World Investment Report, 2017China Global Investment Tracker, June 2015International Energy Statistics, Monthly UpdateIEA World Energy Outlook, 2016IEA Oil Market Report, August 2017OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin, 2017

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