The GDP of the first quarter would grow around 7.4%

The GDP of the first quarter would grow around 7.4%

This Monday, the data of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the first quarter of 2022, and like the figures left by the Colombian economy last year, when it grew 10.6%, the balance of the first three months of the year is expected to be positive.

(See: Colombia and Latin America, faced with rising inflation and more rate hikes).

Portfolio polled with some of the main banks and economic analysts about their forecast for this result and, on average, the market expects a performance of 7.4% for the economy in the first three months of the year.

According to analysts, on the spending side, private consumption would continue to be the key behind growth, while on the production side, the commerce and industry sectors would once again be behind the positive figures.

Among the highest projections is that of Bancolombia, with an estimated 8.3%. According to Juan Pablo Espinosa, director of economic research at the bank, the key economic sectors behind the growth would once again have been commerce and the manufacturing industry.

The economic recovery process continued in the first three months of this year, despite multiple challenges. On the demand side, private consumption would continue to be the engine of growth. In relation to fixed investment, construction would have explained the improvement, while the signs from imports of machinery and equipment lead to anticipate a positive but moderate dynamic”, assured Espinosa.

Other bets that are above 8% are those of Itau and the commission agent Acciones y Valores, both at 8.1%.

On the bank side Carolina Monzón, Manager of Economic Research of the entity, highlighted how this data would be “very driven by consumption, given that the start of the year was very favorable from this point of view, and particularly with the reopening of the different activities and with 100% capacity in the services sector, which would most likely lead to entertainment to double-digit growth”.

(See: The economic recovery continued its momentum in the first quarter).

From Actions and values the manager of economic research, Wilson Tovar, mentioned how the data from the Economic Monitoring Indicator (ISE) in recent months has already shed light on the possible data, and how “the agricultural sector is looking robust due to the effect of prices, although not so much due to production. Construction is also advancing at a good pace, and in tertiary activities the most dynamic could be commerce and transport, motivated by the day without VAT and public services, indexed to inflationary shocks”.

On the other hand, the outlook is at 7.8% for Banco de Bogotá, as well as for BTG Pactual. Camilo Pérez, Manager of Economic Research at Banco de Bogotá, indicated that a large part of this dynamic will be based on household consumption, “but especially in the consumption of services, to the extent that the economy continues with the reopening, and we reach a point of minimal restrictions in terms of mobility”.

(See: ‘We had one of the best first quarters in this century’: Duque).

From the banking union, asobancaria, the projection for productive activity during the first quarter of 2022 is 7.6%.

In addition, José Ignacio López, head of economic research at Corficolombiana, He assured that his perspective is at 7.5%, and that “economic recovery and normalization in all sectors continues. The figures are probably going to show a pattern similar to the one we saw at the end of last year, in which household consumption is the great engine, as well as the associated sectors”.

On the other hand, the bet from the Bolivar Davivienda Group is between 6.8% and 7%, while the center of economic thought Anif published a document in recent days indicating that they expect GDP growth for the first quarter of 2022 to be between 6.9% and 7.4% with a punctual forecast of 7%.

MODERATE OUTLOOK

Another group of experts, on the other hand, believes that quarterly growth will be closer to the 6% range. The latest Financial Opinion Survey (EOF) of Fedesarrollo for April indicated that the expectations about the growth of the first quarter of 2022 for the market were located in a range between 6.0% and 7.5%, with 6.9% as the median response, while in the edition of March the average was 6.0%.

According to Scotiabank Colpatria, for the first quarter of 2022, growth between 6.6% and 6.8% in annual terms is expected, “especially due to a significant improvement in the construction sector, which was lagging behind, the service sector such as hotels and tourism, retail trade and recreation and sports”, indicated Sergio Olarte, the bank’s economist.

Mauricio Hernández, BBVA Research economist for Colombia, pointed out that growth could be of the order of 6%, and that “It is a figure that means a slowdown with respect to the dynamics with which it closed 2021, but it is still an outstanding performance with respect to the historical figures of the Colombian economy.”.

(See: Uncertainty marks consumer confidence).

THE STATISTICAL BASIS

Another point that analysts point out is that the first quarter of 2022 still has a rebound effect by the 2021 figures.

Munir Jalil, director of economic research for the Andean region of BTG Pactual, said that “this first quarter of 2021 is still affected by the statistical base of the pandemic, because in January and February of last year we were affected by the quarantines”, while Andrés Langebaek, director of economic research for the Bolívar-Davivienda group, said that in the future “the economy is going to show lower growth rates because we compare ourselves with months of last year in which we had very strong growth due to the rebound effect. It will be a rate that shows a deceleration”.

LAURA LUCIA BECERRA ELEJALDE
Journalist Portfolio
Twitter: @LauraB_Elejalde

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