Today the National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane) will release the data on the growth of the Colombian economy for 2021. The market projections are located in a range between 9.5% and 10.3%, and The different entities, economic study centers and banks have been revising their forecasts in recent months, as the economy has continued to recover.
In fact, the National Government launched a last bet yesterday, almost 24 hours after the official data was known. President Ivan Duke He said, in the framework of his tour that he has been doing in Europe in the last week, that the economy “grew above 10.2%”.
According to the president, after evaluating the growth figures for December 2021, the team from the Ministry of Finance and the Presidency revised their forecast.
This would be the third government update since June of last year, when the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MFMP) was presented. At that time, the Treasury estimated an economy recovering at a rate of 6% in 2021. Later, in November, it raised the figure to 8.5% and in December again, to 9.7%, an estimate that it reiterated in the Financial Plan of 2022, presented a week and a half ago.
“This means that we have achieved the highest economic growth in our Republican history. This shows our resilience and it is very important to say that it is growth with sustainability.Duke highlighted.
Likewise, according to the Dane’s records, this would be at least the highest growth of which there is a record in the last 45 years. However, experts do not fail to point out that part of the figure is also explained as a response or rebound as a result of the fall left by the 2020 pandemic.
For José Ignacio López, director of economic research at Corficolombiana, “the president more or less ‘chived’ the figure. Although it is a projection it is thought that the number will be close to that. There are several discussions, but it must be clarified that the growth figure is real. It is not inevitable that a country will grow or recover, it is possible that after a contraction there will be little growth”.
López clarified, however, that the size of the figure also reflects what is called a rebound in economic terms, since in 2020 there was a contraction of 6.8%, and in 2021 a good part of the economy “rebounded”.
According to the economist, it is possible to divide that figure of 10.2%, in a rebound, of around 7.2 points, and around 2.7 points of pre-pandemic growth. “You can read there to the extent that there was indeed a rebound, but it was not only this, because we are already above pre-pandemic economic activity, which is undoubtedly good news.”
However, beyond this discussion, the head of economic research at Corficolombiana assured that the real mole in the recovery is employment, and that private investment is still far from pre-pandemic levels.
Mauricio Santamaría, president of the economic studies center Anif, reiterated that “lor first is that we have to wait for the official data”, and acknowledged that “in any case, it is largely a rebound from the very low level of 2020.
The growth component that is not rebound is more or less 3 points out of 10qThe economy is going to grow, which is not bad,” he said.
For his part, Luis Fernando Mejía, executive director of Fedesarrollo, assured that there are two ways in which the growth of the economy can be seen.
“There is a low basis for comparison, in the sense that the production of goods and services in a year like 2021 is being measured against the worst year in more than 100 years of the country’s economic history, which was 2020, with a contraction 6.8%. That of course generates a statistical effect from the point of view of calculating economic growth.”.
Mejía also referred to the comparison of Colombia’s growth with that of Latin America, and how, in effect, there was also faster growth. “The average growth of Latin America, according to the International Monetary Fund, is that it was around 6%. So Colombia growing at 10% or more shows that there is indeed a rebound effect, but also a better dynamic compared to the region”, he assured.
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According to Mejía, if the comparison were made with the pre-pandemic year, “gives us that the economy is 2.3% above the size we had in 2019.” Like López, Mejía emphasized his concern for the labor market, since the unemployment rate has not been recovering at the same rate as economic activity.
Although the official data of the GDP is not yet known, some, and the experts reiterate that the publication of the Dane should be awaited. Some voices celebrated this eventual growth.
The president of the National Federation of Merchants ( Fenalco), Jaime Alberto Cabalcelebrated that “growth of 10.2% is good news, because it reflects the recovery of the Colombian economy during the second half of last year”. According to Cabal, the dynamics of consumption and trade are being confirmed as one of the markers of growth.