So far, the Nicaraguan economy has held up well in the face of increasingly adverse international headwinds. Granted, real GDP growth in 2007, at 3.8%, was below target, mainly as a result of ballooning input costs due to a surge in world market prices for oil, the repercussions from hurricane Felix, the devastation wrought upon parts of agriculture by the subsequent heavy rains and electricity interruptions during the first half of the year. The government's macroeconomic policies have generally been quite prudent, guided as they are these days by the dictates of the IMF. For now, there seems to be little risk of Nicaragua slipping into an outright recession. While President Daniel Ortega, the former Marxist revolutionary, has managed to secure cheap oil and significant financial aid from Venezuela without rupturing the country's relations with the US or the IMF, recent polls put his popular approval rating at just 20%.