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Country Forecast Colombia July 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Colombia July 2018 Updater

  • July 2018
  • ID: 3091777
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The new president, Iván Duque of the right-wing Centro Democrático (CD), will focus on implementing orthodox economic policies and amending the 2016 peace agreement with the leftist FARC guerrillas. Despite the likelihood of further delays and setbacks to the implementation of the deal, The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that the peace process will not be derailed.
  • Mr Duque will govern through a broad centre-right coalition in Congress; however, the risks of fragmentation will rise in the second half of his term. Peace talks with the smaller Ejército de Liberación Nacional will continue, although these will advance slowly, and a peace deal is unlikely. The end of the armed conflict with the FARC will help to strengthen institutions, improve security, and boost long-term social development.
  • We expect the non-financial public sector (NFPS) deficit, forecast at 2% of GDP in 2018, to narrow gradually to 1.4% of GDP in 2022, reflecting improving oil prices and stronger economic growth. We expect the public debt burden to rise slightly through 2019, before easing later in the forecast period. Larger fiscal and oil revenues will put the public finances on a sounder footing.
  • GDP growth will trend upward in 2018 owing to recovering local and external demand, reflecting lower inflation, higher real wages, and higher consumer and business confidence. Growth will reach 3.4% in 2022, boosted by monetary loosening, infrastructure investments and stronger consumer demand.
  • Public spending will rise, but tax reforms and recovery in oil prices will increase revenue, supporting a narrowing of the fiscal deficit. Inflation is expected to remain within the target range of 2-4% over the forecast period. The current-account deficit will narrow as oil prices rise. The external position will be aided by foreign direct and portfolio investment inflows (albeit at lower levels than in the past), and by a large foreign reserves cushion.
  • Trade agreements with the US, the EU and some Asian countries, as well as progress in regional integration, will support trade flows and attract foreign investment. This, along with a large, increasingly middle-class population, will sustain reasonable GDP growth in the long term.
  • Market opportunities will broadly expand during the forecast period, underpinned by a sizeable and growing population, rising per-head incomes, increased consumer access to credit, improvements in the business climate and infrastructure, and trade integration (regionally and globally).


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