Source of graph: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.
(p. A15) President Hugo Chávez wasn’t pleased with data . . . that showed the Venezuelan economy tumbling into a recession. So the populist leader came up with a solution: Forget traditional measures of economic growth, and find a new, “Socialist-friendly” gauge.
“We simply can’t permit that they continue calculating GDP with the old capitalist method,” President Chávez said in a televised speech before members of his Socialist party . . . . “It’s harmful.”
Mr. Chávez’s comments came shortly after data showed Venezuela’s gross domestic product — a broad measure of annual economic output — fell 4.5% in the third quarter from the year-earlier period. It was the second consecutive quarterly decline, and observers have questioned how Mr. Chávez will be able to generate growth without high oil prices.
. . .
“It’s hard to say if [Mr. Chávez] is serious or not,” said Robert Bottome of publisher VenEconomía. “They’ve already tampered with the way they compute unemployment and how they determine how much oil [state oil company] PdVSA exports. So why not tamper with the economy figures as well.”
For the full story, see:
DAN MOLINSKI and DAVID LUHNOW. “Chávez Discounts Accuracy of GDP.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., NOVEMBER 20, 2009): A15.
(Note: ellipses added.)