It starts with a V.
Barring some sort of miraculous turnaround, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will likely be the worst performing economy in the world this year, according to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook issued this week. The IMF forecasts that Venezuela’s economy will contract by 8%, edging out South Sudan’s forecasted -7.8% decline to earn the dubious distinction among the roughly 190 economies for which the institution provided 2016 estimates.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Venezuela’s economy is based on oil. According to Standard & Poor’s, about 15% of Venezuela’s GDP is derived from oil, along with roughly half of government revenues, and 95% of exports.
At any rate, the dire condition of Venezuela, along with that of South America’s largest economy—Brazil–leaves the continent looking to Argentina, as a best hope for fresh economic leadership and growth. And that’s usually not been a good place to be.