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Venezuela Economy Shrinks


By: Associated Press, The Washington Post


 May 20, 2002

Caracas, Venezuela Venezuela is seeking at least $3 billion in external financing to meet half of a projected $7 billion fiscal deficit, Finance Minister Tobias Nobrega said Monday.

Financing will come from bond markets and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corp., Nobrega told reporters.

Venezuela's economy shrank during the first quarter of 2002, Nobrega said without being more specific. Analysts expect a contraction of up to 4 percent this year, compared to 2.7 percent growth last year.

Political unrest, including a two-day coup in April, has hurt Venezuela's $110 billion economy.

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