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Colombia GDP

Colombia GDP

Economic Growth in Colombia

Colombia's economy showed solid growth in the early part of the decade, benefiting from high oil prices. However, the decline in oil prices around 2015 and the 2020 pandemic led to economic downturns. By 2022, Colombia was on a recovery path, driven by a rebound in oil prices and government fiscal support, though surging inflation and interest rates were holding back activity.,

The Colombian economy recorded average real GDP growth of 3.3% in the decade to 2022, well above the 1.3% average for Latin America. In 2022, real GDP growth was 7.3%. For more GDP information, visit our dedicated page.

Colombia GDP Chart

Note: This chart displays Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %) for Colombia from 2014 to 2023.
Source: DANE Colombia.

Colombia GDP Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 2.6 3.2 -7.2 10.8 7.3
GDP (USD bn) 334 323 270 319 345
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

GDP unexpectedly drops in Q3 due to slump in inventories

GDP dropped 0.3% year on year in the third quarter, contrasting the 0.4% rise seen in the second quarter. Q3's reading marked the worst result since Q4 2020 and was unexpected: The market had predicted an expansion. This could push the Central Bank to lower interest rates earlier than expected ahead.

The decline was driven by a slump in inventories. Inventories are volatile and are not necessarily representative of the underlying health of the economy; excluding them, GDP growth actually improved to 5.7% year on year in the third quarter from 4.1% in Q2. Exports of goods and services growth picked up to 4.1% in Q3 (Q2: +3.4% yoy). Conversely, imports of goods and services slid at a steeper pace of 21.7% in Q3 (Q2: -14.8% yoy), marking the lowest reading since Q3 2020, pushing up net trade in the process. Meanwhile, government spending sped up to a 2.4% expansion in Q3 (Q2: +1.6% yoy). Nonetheless, despite the improvement in net trade and government spending, domestic demand weakened in the quarter, adding pressure on the Central Bank to lower interest rates in the coming months. Private consumption growth fell to 0.4% in Q3, marking the weakest expansion since Q3 2020 (Q2: +0.8% yoy). In addition, fixed investment plunged at the steepest rate in over two years, falling 11.0% in the third quarter (Q2: -7.7% yoy). Meanwhile, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, economic activity bounced back, expanding 0.2% in Q3, contrasting the previous quarter's 1.0% fall.

Our panelists expect muted GDP growth in the fourth quarter. While inventories are unlikely to slump as sharply as in Q3, preventing another contraction, domestic demand is likely to be weighed on by high inflation and interest rates. In addition, fixed investment should be knocked by ongoing political uncertainty. A key downside risk is the El Niño weather pattern, which could hurt agricultural output and, therefore, stoke price pressures ahead.

Santiago Tellez, analyst at Goldman Sachs, commented: “Going forward, we continue to expect below-trend real growth on the back of tight domestic and global financial conditions and depleting excess households’ savings. Moreover, elevated policy uncertainty given the administration’s aggressive legislative agenda, together with weak business sentiment, are likely to impinge further on private investment.” Credicorp Capital’s Daniel Velandia and Diego Camacho said: “All-in, we are revising our GDP growth estimate for 2023 downward to 1.2%, down from our previous estimate of 1.3%. Additionally, we are adjusting our GDP growth estimate for 2024 to 1.7%, down from 2.2%, due to the following factors: i) a start of rate cuts later than initially planned, ii) inflation and policy rate that, on average, will be higher than previously estimated in 2024, iii) subdued private investment amid persistent political uncertainty and iv) an increased likelihood of a strong El Niño event.”

Consensus Forecasts and Projections for the next ten years

How should you choose a forecaster if some are too optimistic while others are too pessimistic? FocusEconomics collects Colombian GDP projections for the next ten years 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. By averaging all forecasts, upside and downside forecasting errors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the most reliable GDP forecast available for Colombian GDP.

Download one of our sample reports to visualize what a Consensus Forecast is and see our Colombian GDP projections.

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