Colombia: GDP recovers some ground at the end of 2012
March 21, 2013
In Q4, GDP grew 3.1% over the same quarter the previous year. The figure overshot the 2.7% expansion observed in the third quarter (previously reported: +2.1% year-on-year) and was broadly in line with the 3.3% increase projected by last month's LatinFocus Consensus Forecast. As a result, in the full year 2012, GDP expanded 4.0%, which is down from the 6.6% growth rate witnessed in 2011.
The acceleration seen in the fourth quarter was mainly caused by a strong improvement in domestic demand. Total consumption grew 4.5% in the fourth quarter (Q3 2012: +4.1% yoy), amid healthy growth in both private consumption (Q3: +3.9% yoy; Q4: +4.0% yoy) and government spending (Q3: +5.2% yoy; Q4: +6.5% yoy). In addition, fixed investment expanded 3.4%, up from the 1.6% increase seen in Q3.
Meanwhile, the external sector remained broadly unchanged over the previous quarter, as both exports and imports decelerated at a similar pace. Exports grew 1.4% (Q3: +6.8% yoy), while imports expanded 3.3% (Q3: +8.0% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth improved from minus 0.9 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 0.6 percentage points in the fourth.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the acceleration suggested by the annual data, as the economy expanded 1.8% over the previous quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, contrasting the 0.7% drop recorded in the third quarter.
The Central Bank projects economic growth to reach between 2.5% and 4.5% this year, while the government expects the economy to expand 4.8%. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect GDP to grow 4.1% in 2013, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's projection. For next year, the panel sees economic growth at 4.8%.