July 2020 - Report of the Latin American Alliance of Economic Consultancies LAECO: Growth recovery for 2021

According to the LAECO Alliance countries, the average of the growth forecasts in Latin America in 2020 is -9.6%, and -7.4% excluding Venezuela. The economies are expected to recover in 2021, forecasting an average growth for that year of 3.5% and 4.1% excluding Venezuela.

June 2020 - Report of the Latin American Alliance of Economic Consultancies LAECO: Growth projections for 2020

The LAECO Alliance adjusts its forecasts for growth, inflation, unemployment and other macroeconomic variables of the Latin American economies for 2020. A sharp drop in the economic growth of the countries is expected, which varies between -0, 6% forecast for Paraguay, and -27.5% forecast for Venezuela.

May 2020 - Latín American Alliance of Economic Consultancies juncture report: Projections on the effect of the COVID-19 crisis over the economies

The LAECO Alliance publishes its forecasts for economic growth, inflation, unemployment and other macroeconomic variables of the Latin American economies for May 2020. A significant contraction is forecast in all countries due to the crisis generated by COVID- 19, which in some economies is accentuated by the decrease in the prices of oil and other commodities. In the Colombian case, Econometría Consultores forecasts a GDP variation of -3.0% for the current year. For more information on this analysis, request your subscription to the LAECO Monthly Newsletter.

April 2020 - COVID-2019 special report LAECO

The Latin American Alliance of Economic Consultancies - LAECO presents a special report about the COVID-19 situation in Latin America and the governments responses to face the crisis.

To view the document click here

November 2019 - A regular economic performance mixed with political uncertainty

CPI inflation in October was 3.86%, which is near to the upper limit of Banco de la Republica's target range. The economy is expected to grow to 3.2% in 2019, which is consistent with the growth of 3.3% of GDP in the third quarter of 2019. 

In terms of politics, The Constitutional Court declared that the Ley de financiamiento presented by the National Government was unenforceable. However, the Minister of Finance was allowed to file the bill again, which will possibly be accepted with marginal modifications. On the other hand, on October 27 regional elections took place throughout the country, which showed favourable results for the centre parties, and showed that the right and left parties had lost influence in many regions  Finally, on November 21 there will be protest marches against the policies promoted by the National Government, to which multiple sectors of the population have joined

October 2019 - Uncertainty arises due to possible tax reform reversal

Economy: In recent days, the exchange rate has reached record levels in excess of 3,500 COP to 1 USD. This can be explained by the decrease in oil prices, the uncertainty generated by the trade conflict between the United States and China, and the risk associated with the plaint of the last tax
reform’s unconstitutionality, Ley de Financimiento. The reversal of this tax reform would reduce the tax collection and could affect Colombia's credibility in international markets. Conversely, inflation is approaching the upper target range of 4% (3.82% in September, year-on-year) and will possibly
increase in the coming months due to exchange rate pressures. A moderate growth scenario is expected (3.2% growth is forecasted for 2019), with a high level of unemployment (estimated at 10.7% for 2019) and a high current account deficit (4.6% of GDP). These potential figures would limit the
monetary and fiscal policy space.

Despite the rearmament, peace still stands

In August, annual inflation was 3.75%. The inflation of tradable goods excluding food was 1.5%, which is higher than the July figure of 1.4%. Despite the devaluation of the COP in recent months, the low level of demand has mitigated its effect on prices. On the other hand, the current account deficit for the first half of 2019 was 4.73% of GDP. Although this level is high, it is not worrying because foreign direct investment covers this imbalance, which has increased by 24.4%.  
 
The peace process between the Colombian State and FARC was set back after the declaration of rearmament by Iván Márquez and the FARC dissidents. The statements supporting the rearmament coming from the group ELN raise concerns about a possible alliance between the dissidents and ELN. The terrorist attack on January 17, which was claimed by ELN, ended the possibility of a peace deal between the Government of Colombia and ELN. While this is worrisome, it is necessary to remember that 98% of the members of the FARC still support the peace process. This attempted subversion of the process by dissidents could further destabilize the peace process but it does not affect the continuity of its implementation. On the other hand, the new guerrillas are expected to focus their activities on drug trafficking. However, the absence of ideological and political parallels between this new group and the ELN makes a permanent and strong alliance between them unfeasible.

 

August 2019 - A rising exchange rate and stable growth

GDP growth for the second quarter of 2019 was 3.0%, which is consistent with our forecast of 3.2% GDP growth for 2019. However, the trade conflict within the United States and China can compromise Colombia's GDP growth. This conflict has generated devaluation pressures in Colombian Peso, which was about 3200 COP/USD and nowadays is about 3400 COP/USD, that can have mixed effects in Colombia's growth. On the one hand, exports should rise.
On the other hand, those devaluation pressures will lead to a rise in inflation that limits the room for active monetary policy. In the face of an external shock, Colombia has little room to counter it. Therefore, this month Econometria keeps its GDP growth forecast for 2019 at 3.2%, although it could be lower.

July 2019 - Weak economic stability and political tensions

The Colombian economy shows no signs of significant changes. In May, the national unemployment rate was 10.5%, while in the same month in 2018 it was 9.7%. On the other hand, year-on-year inflation in June (3.42%) continued at the levels it had been in the previous month (3.3%) and was led by food inflation.

In terms of politics, in the last days Jesus Santrich, ex-negotiator and part of the leadership of the FARC, was declared a fugitive from justice, for crimes after the agreement. Some consider this as a blow to the Colombian peace process, and others think that it is precisely what the deals for this type of crime envisage. The above, in any case, generate polarised positions about the implementation of agreements.

June 2019 - Bad news in the external sector

In June, DANE published the figure for the current account deficit for the first quarter of 2019, which was 4.6% of GDP. This indicator is alarming and is in line with other signs of the Colombian economy that has presented a less positive behaviour than the one observed the previous year.  This scenario is complex, the real economy shows weak signals, and there is no room for accommodatory monetary policy since it could lead to further devaluation and higher current account deficit due to higher domestic demand.