Colombia: Economic growth accelerates in Q4
March 31, 2011
In the fourth quarter, GDP added 4.6% over the previous quarter, which represented an improvement over the 3.6% expansion observed in the third quarter and was above last month's LatinFocus Consensus Forecast, which had seen the economy growing 4.1%. In the full year 2010, GDP grew 4.3%, up from the 1.5% increase seen in 2009. The acceleration in the fourth quarter was mostly driven by domestic demand. Total consumption grew 4.6% year-on-year in Q4 (Q3: +4.2% year-on-year), while growth in gross fixed investment accelerated to 10.2% in the fourth quarter from a 5.6% increase in Q3. The external sector also improved over the previous quarter. Exports accelerated from 2.4% in the third quarter to a 7.8% expansion in the fourth. At the same time, imports expanded 15.4% in the fourth quarter, down from the 20.5% growth tallied in the previous quarter. As a result, the overall contribution from the external sector stepped up from minus 4.0 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 2.2 percentage points in the fourth. At the sector level, agriculture expanded 4.2% in the fourth quarter, contrasting a 1.4% contraction in the third quarter. Industry increased 4.4% in the fourth quarter (Q3: +1.9% year-on-year) and services expanded 4.5% in Q4, a notch below the 4.7% growth registered in Q3. A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the improvement seen in the annual data, as the economy added 1.92% over the previous quarter, up from the 0.47% contraction registered in the July-September period.