Colombia: Exports flatline in February
Merchandise exports flatline in February, improving from January’s 24.1% year-on-year collapse, and logging the best reading in more than a year. February’s improvement was largely owing to a notably softer contraction in fuel shipments. Meanwhile, exports of both agricultural and manufacturing products swung back into expansion with the latter growing prominently.
Meanwhile, merchandise imports tumbled 12.5% in annual terms in January, the last month for which data is available, contrasting December 2020’s 0.7% growth. As a result, the merchandise trade deficit widened to USD 1.0 billion in January from USD 0.7 billion in January 2020. Lastly, the trend deteriorated further, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 10.4 billion deficit in January, compared to the USD 10.1 billion deficit tallied in December 2020.
Commenting on the outlook for current account balance analysts at EIU noted:
“Colombia will run ample current-account deficits over the coming years, supported by a strong cushion of foreign reserves. The current-account deficit will remain wide in 2021, at 3.3% of GDP, as resilient inflows of workers’ remittances and goods exports will only partly counter a modest recovery in goods imports and profit remittances.”