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Country Report Colombia September 2017

Country Report Colombia September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2350464
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2017-21

  • The president, Juan Manuel Santos, will strive to advance implementation of peace accords with the leftist FARC rebels before he leaves office in August of 2018. Public attention will turn increasingly to next year's general elections.
  • The peace process with the FARC will progress but will face challenges, and controversy over parts of the deal will sustain political tension. Talks with the smaller Ejército de Liberación Nacional guerrillas will progress only slowly.
  • A modest recovery in oil prices and infrastructure investment will help to lift GDP growth in the forecast period, but it will stay weak in 2017, at 1.7%, before accelerating to 3.6% by 2021, driven mostly by domestic demand.
  • Fiscal reforms and higher oil prices will help to narrow the central govern-ment deficit to 2.1% of GDP in 2020-21, from 3.8% of GDP in 2016. The non-financial public-sector debt will rise, before falling to 51.3% of GDP by 2021.
  • Despite monetary loosening and tax increases, the stabilisation of food prices and tepid demand growth will allow inflation to ease to 4% at end-2017. It will stabilise within the official 2-4% target range in 2018-21.
  • The peso will weaken gradually, given a persistent current-account deficit, a strong US dollar, and expected slowdowns in China and the US later in the forecast period. The degree of depreciation will be moderate, however.
  • The current-account deficit will narrow modestly, to 3.1% of GDP by 2021, owing to an increase in oil prices from 2016 lows and some growth in non-oil exports. Foreign investment and other capital inflows will cover the deficit.


  • On August 15th the demobilised FARC rebels handed over their last containers of weapons to UN representatives, and the government declared the conflict formally over. The FARC will become a political party as of September 1st.
  • In response to alleged irregularities in a cancelled road concession held by Odebrecht, a Brazilian firm involved in a region-wide corruption scandal, the attorney-general is investigating a former transport minister, Miguel Peñalosa,
  • Colombia joined 11 other regional governments in August in signing the Lima Declaration, which denounces the Venezuelan regime's anti-democratic practices and refuses to recognise its newly installed Constituent Assembly.
  • The economy grew by a tepid 1.3% year on year in the second quarter, taking growth for the first half of 2017 to 1.2%. Financial services posted the best performance year on year, while mining activity and manufacturing shrank.
  • Consumer prices declined by 0.1% in July on a monthly basis. This took annual inflation to 3.4%, below the 4% registered in June and well under the peak rate of 9% a year earlier.

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