Colombia: GDP accelerates unexpectedly in Q2
September 20, 2012
In the second quarter, GDP grew 4.9% over the same quarter last year. The figure was up from the 4.7% expansion observed in the first quarter and exceeded market expectations of a 4.4% rise. The improvement was caused by a sharp acceleration in fixed investment, which expanded a strong 15.5% (Q1: +7.8% year-on-year). Total consumption, on the other hand, decelerated over the previous quarter (Q1: +5.2% yoy: Q2: +4.2% yoy), as faster growth in public spending could not compensate for a slowdown in private consumption. Meanwhile, the external sector deteriorated slightly over the previous quarter, as exports decelerated from a 6.7% increase in the first quarter to a 2.0% expansion in the second, while import growth moderated to 9.5% (Q1: +12.4% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth stepped down from minus 2.0 percentage points in the first quarter to minus 2.2 percentage points in the second. A quarter-on-quarter comparison suggests an even stronger improvement than the one reflected in the annual data, as the economy grew a strong 1.6% over the previous quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, well above the 0.2% increase recorded in the first quarter. The Central Bank projects economic growth to range between 3.0% and 5.0% this year. For next year, the Central Bank expects growth to be "similar" to the one recorded in 2012. Meanwhile the government projects economic growth to reach 4.8% this year and next.