Thursday, November 29, 2007

For A Few Dollars More

La Republica has a graphic illustration of the struggles developing countries like Peru have had to advance over the last thirty or so years.

The table shows Peru's real per capita GDP, measured in 1994 soles, from 1967 to 2006.

As can be seen, current income per person is only a little higher than it was in the mid-60s, and has just crept above the previous high point in 1975, at the end of the presidency of nationalist General Juan Velasco Alvarado.

Each successive president has a small claim to fame. Alan Garcia's previous term saw a minor peak in 1987, before GDP crashed amidst hyperinflation. Alberto Fujimori introduced the 'Fujishock' of neoliberal reforms in 1990, but even amidst the sell-offs and influx of capital of the mid-90s, his best year was not even as good as Garcia's.

It's quite intriguing that after fifteen years of neoliberal policies, per capita income has only just surpassed what it was at the end of seven years of rule by the Soviet-aligned nationalist Velasco. However, as columnist Humberto Campodónico points out, in these last years of strong growth, wage and salary earners' share of GDP has dropped from 25 to 21.8%.

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