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General Information Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), during 2017 the country’s Gross Domestic Product was 1.8%. The activities that drove the growth were: agriculture, financial institutions, real estate activities, and social, community and personal services activities.


GDP growth in 2018 is projected at 2.4%.


Source: DANE National Administrative Department of Statistics
 

 

Employment

According to DANE data, the unemployment rate in the entire country was 9.4% in 2017, showing an increase of 0.2% when compared to 2016.


During 2017, for 23 cities and metropolitan areas, the lowest unemployment rates were observed in the cities of Santa Marta with 8%, Barranquilla with 8.2% and Bucaramanga with 8.5%. On the other hand, the cities with the highest unemployment rates were Quibdo, Cúcuta and Armenia with 16.1%, 15.9% and 14.3%, respectively. 


Source: DANE National Administrative Department of Statistics
 

 

Foreign Trade

Exports

Exports closed 2017 with a growth of 19%, going from US$ 31,756.8 million FOB to US$ 37,800.1 million. The behavior of exports was characterized by the growth of the country’s external sales in all product groups, especially the groups of fuels and products from extractive industries.


Main export destinations:

United States (27.9%), European Union (14.4%), Panama (7.2%), China (5.3%), Mexico (4.1%).


Source: DANE National Administrative Department of Statistics – Ministry of Foreign Trade

 

Imports

Imports totaled US$ 46,075.7 million, showing a variation of 2.6% as compared to 2016. The behavior of imports was explained by the growth (5.0%) in the manufacturing subsector with external purchases of US$ 32,482.9 million CIF. Additionally, imports of fuels and products from extractive industries showed an increase of 1.9% in an amount of US$ 4,122.7 million CIF, where fuels, mineral lubricants and related products showed the highest weight in the measurement.

 

Main countries of origin of imports:

United States (26%), China (19%), Brazil (5%) Germany (4.1%) Free Trade Zone (1.5%).

Source: DANE National Administrative Department of Statistics – Ministry of Foreign Trade- DNP National Planning Department


In 2017 there was a deficit in the trade balance of 6,176.5 million dollars, decreasing by 44% when compared to 2016.
 

 

Inflation

According to the DANE, the consumer price index for 2017 was 4.09%, slightly above the target range. Thus, annualized inflation maintained its downwards trend.


By spending groups, what most influenced the cost of living of Colombians during 2017 was entertainment (7.69%), education (7.41%), communications (6.43%); health (6.34%), transportation (4.52%) and housing (4.49%).


Source: DANE National Administrative Department of Statistics
 

 

Interest Rate

The Central Bank reduced the interest rate to 4.5%, which is 25 basis points lower.


After two months of interest rates at 4.50%, the Board of Directors of the Central Bank reduced the benchmark rate by 25 additional points and placed it at 4.25%.


The decision of the Central Bank was based on the sound behavior of annual inflation in March, which stood at 3.14%, the recovery of the external demand and the better dynamics of economic activity.
 

 

Foreign Direct Investment

In 2017, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country was $14,518 million dollars, as compared to US$ 13,849 million in 2016, which represents an increase of 18%.


The sector that most contributed was transportation, storage and communications with a total investment of US$ 3,465 million, followed by the oil sector with US$ 3,458 million and financial and business services with US$ 1,662 million.


Source: Ministry of Finance and Public Credit