The figures for the first economic quarter of the year – January, February and March – will be known next week, but The available indicators show a favorable panorama, in which both the market and the Government have their expectations set.
In fact, in recent days, President Iván Duque assured that “This first economic quarter that closed in March, the calculations we have is that it will be one of the best quarters of this century.”
One of the variables that resembles the behavior of GDP is the Economic Monitoring Indicator (ISE), which reviews the results of monthly economic activity. The ISE for the first month of the year rose 7.79% compared to 2021, while in February it registered a growth of 8.1%. The data for March will be released this Monday, along with the GDP for the first quarter.
Another monitoring indicator is the one kept by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Ocde), in its Weekly Tracker, a real-time indicator of the economy that uses data from Google trends to measure economic activity.
In the first week of the year, the relative GDP that the tracker delivered was 7.81%, and closed the month at 7.66%; the last week of February left a figure of 7.37%, while in the last week of March the figure was 5.39%.
Industry and commerce are two of the sectors that have the greatest contribution to the local economy, and in the first months of the year the figures show a favorable dynamic.
Manufacturing production showed an annual variation of 15.1% and 10.7% in January and February, respectively, while trade sales began the year with a growth of 20.9% in January and in February its growth was 4.9%. March figures are still pending for both indicators.
Precisely the firm Raddar estimated that in the first quarter of the year households spent $218.8 billion. And in the month of March it was $71.4 billion pesos, with a growth in current pesos of 12.18% compared to the same month of 2021, and 3.6% in real terms discounting inflation.
In terms of foreign trade, the first quarter closed with an accumulated amount of US$12,972 million in terms of exports, a growth of 45.2% in relation to the first three months of 2021. While in terms of imports, between January and February, foreign purchases were registered for US$11,877.3 million, an increase of 53.7%.
Among other sectors, in construction it stands out that in the period January – February 2022, 3.64 million m2 were licensed for building, which represented an increase of 12.4%. Likewise, the production of gray cement showed an increase of 5.4% between January and March and reached 3.55 million tons, while in the quarter the production of ready-mix concrete reached 1.65 million m3, with a variation of 12.5% compared to what was registered in the same period of 2021.
In terms of housing, according to the latest report from Real Estate Gallery, a platform used by the Ministry of Housing to measure sales in the country, 84,347 properties were sold in the first quarter of the year, 6% more than in 2021.
A FAVORABLE UPRISING
For the experts, the figures left by the first quarter of the year in its different indicators, and which set the tone for the GDP, are positive.
Andrés Langebaek, executive director of economic research at Grupo Bolívar-Davivienda, highlighted how “Despite the increase in interest rates and inflation, some activities are doing well, such as services, industry, and even construction, despite everything that has happened in the growth of inputs.”
Likewise, Munir Jalil, director of economic research for the Andean region of BTG Pactual, assured that “The ISE for January and February and the anticipation of other indicators is very good”, which will be reflected in the figures, but he reiterated that there is still a low statistical base due to the pandemic.
LAURA LUCIA BECERRA ELEJALDE