Colombia’s GDP Growth Dips to 2.5% Rate: DANE
Colombia’s gross domestic product (“PIB” in Spanish initials) dipped to a 2.5% annual rate in first quarter (1Q) 2016, according to the national government’s economic statistics agency (Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística, DANE).
While the over-all Colombian economy has taken a hit this year from the global crash in oil prices and mining profitability, Colombia’s industrial manufacturing PIB rose 5.3% during 1Q 2016, while construction rose 5.2%, according to DANE (see chart).
Financial services and real estate also outperformed the general economy by registering a 3.8% growth rate, the agency found. Commercial building construction rose 10.9% while real-estate finance jumped 9%.
Sixteen of Colombia’s 24 industrial sub-sectors showed relatively strong growth in 1Q 2016, DANE director Mauricio Perfetti del Corral added.
Of those 16 subsectors, petroleum refining (up 20.6%) showed an especially strong growth, thanks to the expansion and recent restart of Ecopetrol’s 170,000 barrels/day Reficar refinery at Cartagena. Similarly, beverage manufacture also showed strong growth, at 16.5%, he said.
Despite the over-all dip in national economic growth compared to recent years, Colombia’s economy has continued to grow for 14 consecutive quarters, in contrast to the deep recessions seen in neighboring Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador, which are much more dependent on commodities exports.
Agro-Industrial Exports Grow
Meanwhile, although the total dollar value of Colombia’s exports declined because of the global crash in oil, coal and metals prices over the past year, Colombia’s agro-industrial, food and beverage exports nevertheless rose to US$694 million in April 2016, up from $596 million a year earlier, according to DANE. Most of the growth in this agro-industrial category came from a rise in coffee exports, according to the agency.
The United States was the principal destiny for Colombia exports, accounting for 30% of the total export value, according to DANE.