Colombia: Imports continue to moderate in September
November 15, 2011
In September, imports grew 28.9% over the same month last year to USD 5.1 billion, which represents a slight moderation compared to the 31.9% expansion seen in August. Imports maintained the double-digit pace of growth for the 14th consecutive month on the back of resilient domestic demand, in particular intermediate goods, which jumped 34.6% in September. Meanwhile, exports moderated sharply to a 36.2% expansion in September (August: +50.5% year-on-year). As a result, the trade balance swung to a deficit for the first time since December 2010. The merchandise trade balance incurred a shortfall of USD 585 million in September, after recording a surplus of USD 208 million in August. Export data for October will be released on 6 December. The trade balance swung from a USD 865 million surplus in the second quarter to a USD 51 million deficit in the third, which suggests a sharp deterioration in the external sector's contribution to overall growth in the third quarter.