April 13, 2024
General News

Colombia Industrial Production Jumps; Medellin Leads Nation in Retail Sales Growth

Colombia’s national statistical agency (DANE) announced April 14 that industrial production jumped 8.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) in February 2016 — the latest month for which statistics are available — versus a 1% y-o-y net decline in industrial output in February 2015.

It’s another sign indicating that Colombia is starting to rebound from the global collapse in oil prices, which penalized net foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia as well as sharply curtailed government revenues from royalty payments and income from state-owned Ecopetrol.

That global collapse in oil prices has severely punished neighboring Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil, which depend much more heavily on commodity export revenues.

Colombia’s more-diversified, more-capitalistic economy in contrast is showing greater resilience in the face of global commodity price declines. The restart of Ecopetrol’s expanded oil refinery at Cartagena also helped boost industrial indicators.

Industrial employment also rose 1.6% y-o-y, while industrial output for the first two months of 2016 has shown an net gain of 7.9% y-o-y.

For all of the month of February 2016, 26 of the 39 industrial sectors tracked by DANE showed positive y-o-y gains. Besides gains in oil refining, other sectors showing positive results include beverage manufacturing, non-metal mining products, clothing, and food-starches and their derivatives, according to DANE.

Among the 13 industrial sectors posting negative y-o-y results were “other” food products, manufacture of machinery, production of sugar, production of vehicles and motor production, according to DANE.

Medellin Leads Colombia in Retail

Meanwhile, DANE announced April 15 that Medellin led all major Colombian cities in retail sales growth in February 2016, with an 8.7% y-o-y rise, followed by Cali, at 8.1%.

Retail sales in Colombia’s major cities grew 4.6% y-o-y in February 2016, compared to 4.3% growth in February 2015, according to Dane.

Employment in retail also grew 3.2% y-o-y, down from the 4.9% growth in February 2015.

Excluding sales of vehicles and motorcycles (which dipped 6.5% y-o-y), retail sales grew 5.7% y-o-y, according to DANE.

The main growth areas in retail sales include auto parts and accessories, certain foods, non-alcoholic drinks, home appliances, furniture, computers and cell phones, according to the agency.

In contrast to Medellin’s strong growth, retail sales fell 2% y-o-y in Bogota and 5.5% in Bucaramanga, according to the agency.

Large-format stores and hypermarkets saw their sales grow 4.6% y-o-y in the major cities, hitting COP$3.7 trillion (US$1.2 billion), according to DANE.

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