attractive landscape in Colombia

Colombia Economy

Colombia economic overview

Improving economy:

Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, with a GDP of around USD 350 billion in 2022, and a population of 52 million. Colombia has consistently grown faster than the Latin American average over the past decade, supported by the peace deal with FARC guerrilla movement in 2016, but remains notably poorer than the regional average in per capita terms. It is a member of the Pacific Alliance trade bloc along with fellow members Chile, Mexico and Peru, and joined the OECD in 2020.

Diverse economic structure:

While services—particularly retail, tourism, and professional services—form the backbone of the economy, Colombia also has sizeable agricultural, manufacturing and mining sectors, with key exports including coal, coffee, gold and oil. The U.S. and China are by far the country's largest trading partners.

Political uncertainty:

The government of leftist Gustavo Petro has attempted to increase the government's role in the provision of public services and reduce the country's dependence on hydrocarbons, though with limited success due to parliamentary pushback. Ensuing political uncertainty over the government's reform agenda has spurred volatility in the peso.

Challenges:

Colombia faces myriad risks, including extreme climatic events, elevated economic inequality spurring social unrest—such as that which occurred in 2021—swings in hydrocarbon prices impacting fiscal revenues, a resurgence in emigration from Venezuela and a rise in violent crime.

Colombia economic outlook:

Colombia has significant potential for growth, thanks to a large and growing consumer market and abundant natural resources. GDP growth should outpace the Latin America average over our forecast horizon. That said, activity will likely continue to be held back by a weak education system, poor infrastructure and persistent insecurity in some areas of the country.

Colombia's economy in numbers:

Nominal GDP of USD 344 billion in 2022.

GDP per capita of USD 6,659 compared to the global average of USD 10,589.

Average real GDP growth of 3.3% over the last decade.

Share of the region's population
Share of the region's GDP

Economic structure:

In 2021, services accounted for 68% of overall GDP, manufacturing 12%, other industrial activity 13%, and agriculture 7%. Looking at GDP by expenditure, private consumption accounted for 72% of GDP in 2021, government consumption 17%, fixed investment 20%, and net exports -9%.

GDP by economic sector
GDP by type of expenditure

International trade:

In 2021, manufactured products made up 22% of total merchandise exports, mineral fuels 46%, food 18%, ores and metals 2% and agricultural raw materials 5%, with other categories accounting for 7% of the total. In the same period, manufactured products made up 76% of total merchandise imports, mineral fuels 6%, food 14%, ores and metals 2% and agricultural raw materials 1%, with other goods accounting for 1% of the total. Total exports were worth USD 59 billion in 2022, while total imports were USD 72 billion.

Key exports
Key imports
Key export partners
Key import partners

Economic growth:

The economy recorded average annual growth of 3.3% in the decade to 2022. To read more about GDP growth in Colombia, go to our dedicated page.

Fiscal policy:

Colombia's fiscal deficit averaged 3.9% of GDP in the decade to 2022. Find out more on our dedicated page.

Unemployment:

The unemployment rate averaged 11.0% in the decade to 2022. For more information on Colombia's unemployment click here.

Inflation:

Inflation averaged 4.4% in the decade to 2022. Go to our Colombia inflation page for extra insight.

Monetary Policy:

Colombia's monetary policy rate ended 2022 at 12.00%, up from 4.25% a decade earlier. See our Colombia monetary policy page for additional details.

Exchange Rate:

From end-2012 to end-2022 the peso weakened by 63.2% vs the U.S. dollar. For more info on the peso, click here.
Annual GDP growth should have cooled in Q1 2024 from the prior quarter, though available data has been optimistic. Annual economic activity growth surged in January–February from the prior three months, with faster expansions in the agriculture and services sectors outweighing a steeper fall in industrial output. Moreover, consumer pessimism eased and inflation receded over Q1, boding well for private spending. On the external front, goods exports dropped at a more pronounced clip in January–February than in Q4, signaling persistent weakness in foreign demand. In other news, drought conditions have prompted water rationing across the country since early April, threatening energy supply and likely weighing on activity. More positively, the IMF approved a two-year USD 8.1 billion credit line in April, bolstering the outlook for investor confidence.
Projections out to 2033.

55 indicators covered including both annual and quarterly frequencies.

Consensus Forecasts based on a panel of 51 expert analysts.

Want to get insight on the economic outlook for Colombia in the coming years? FocusEconomics collects projections out to 2033 on 55 economic indicators for Colombia from a panel of 51 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts, and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. This means you avoid the risk of relying on out of date, biased or outlier forecasts. Our Consensus Forecasts can be visualized in whichever way best suits your needs, including via interactive online dashboards , direct data delivery and executive-style reports which combine analysts' projections with timely written analysis from our in-house team of economists on the latest developments in the Colombia economy. To download a sample report on the Colombia's economy, click here . To get in touch with our team for more information, fill in the form at the bottom of this page .

Colombia Economic Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Population (million) 48.3 49.4 50.4 51.0 51.6
GDP (USD bn) 334 323 270 319 345
GDP per capita (USD) 6,924 6,541 5,367 6,242 6,692
GDP (COP tn) 988 1,060 998 1,193 1,470
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 7.3 7.3 -5.8 19.4 23.2
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 2.6 3.2 -7.2 10.8 7.3
Domestic Demand (ann. var. %) 3.5 4.0 -7.6 13.4 10.1
Total Consumption (ann. var. %) 4.0 4.3 -4.2 13.8 8.8
Private Consumption (ann. var. %) 3.2 4.1 -5.0 14.7 10.7
Government Consumption (ann. var. %) 7.4 5.3 -0.8 9.8 0.8
Fixed Investment (ann. var. %) 1.0 2.2 -23.6 16.7 11.5
Exports (G&S, ann. var. %) 0.6 3.1 -22.5 14.6 12.3
Imports (G&S, ann. var. %) 5.8 7.3 -20.1 26.7 23.6
Manufacturing Production (ann. var. %) 2.9 1.5 -8.1 16.2 10.6
Retail Sales (ann. var. %) 5.4 8.1 -1.5 12.3 9.1
Unemployment (% of active population, aop) 10.0 10.9 16.7 13.8 11.2
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP) -3.1 -2.5 -7.8 -7.0 -5.3
Public Debt (% of GDP) 49.3 50.3 65.0 63.0 60.8
Money (ann. var. of M2 %) 5.0 8.7 14.3 11.8 12.1
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, eop) 3.2 3.8 1.6 5.6 13.1
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, aop) 3.2 3.5 2.5 3.5 10.2
Inflation (Core, ann. var. %, eop) 3.2 3.8 1.9 4.4 11.6
Policy Interest Rate (%, eop) 4.25 4.25 1.75 3.00 12.00
90-day DTF (%, eop) 4.54 4.48 1.89 3.21 13.70
10-Year Bond Yield (%, eop) 7.02 6.42 5.76 8.46 13.23
Stock Market (ann. var. of MSCI IMI %) -7.9 33.9 -13.9 2.3 4.5
Exchange Rate (COP per USD, eop) 3,250 3,277 3,433 3,981 4,810
Exchange Rate (COP per USD, aop) 2,956 3,281 3,693 3,743 4,255
Current Account Balance (USD bn) -14.0 -14.8 -9.3 -18.0 -21.4
Current Account Balance (% of GDP) -4.2 -4.6 -3.4 -5.6 -6.2
Merchandise Trade Balance (USD bn) -6.4 -9.9 -8.9 -14.0 -12.2
Merchandise Exports (USD bn) 43.0 40.7 32.3 42.7 59.5
Merchandise Imports (USD bn) 49.4 50.5 41.2 56.7 71.7
Merchandise Exports (ann. var. %) 8.1 -5.4 -20.5 32.3 39.2
Merchandise Imports (ann. var. %) 12.1 2.3 -18.5 37.7 26.3
Foreign Direct Investment (USD bn) 11.3 14.0 7.5 9.4 17.0
International Reserves (USD bn) 48.4 53.2 59.0 58.6 57.3
International Reserves (months of imports) 11.8 12.6 17.2 12.4 9.6
External Debt (USD bn) 132 139 155 171 184
External Debt (% of GDP) 39.6 42.9 57.2 53.8 53.2

Q&A:

  1. How is the economy in Colombia today?

  2. Colombia's economy is facing several challenges. Economic growth is expected to slow in 2023 versus 2022. Inflation remains high, and the currency, the peso, has depreciated significantly. The economy is also vulnerable to external shocks, such as changes in global commodity prices and geopolitical tensions.

  3. Does Colombia have a strong economy?

  4. Colombia has a growing economy which is currently the fourth largest in Latin America. It's known for strength in oil, mining and agriculture. However, challenges such as social inequality, political instability, and an overreliance on commodity exports affect its economic strength.

  5. What is Colombia's main economic sector?

  6. Colombia's main economic sector is services, which accounts for over half of GDP and employs about 65% of the workforce. This sector includes a wide range of activities, such as retail, finance, tourism, and professional services. That said, the primary sector is also an important contributor to GDP.

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