Trade and agriculture exports helped Colombia’s economy to pull in a 3.2 percent year-on-year growth this quarter. This makes Colombia the fastest growing economy in South America.
Hotels, restaurants, retail, and business services contributed a total of 4.8 percent to the growth.
Inflation on the up
Although the government said that the rise proves the household’s buying power, the inflation says otherwise. Recording the fastest increase in more than six years, the inflation rate rose to 6.39 percent in November from 5.89 percent in October.
Meanwhile, agriculture grew by 4.5 percent, which includes livestock, hunting, forestry, and fishing. Further showing that the El Niño did not affect the sector. Coffee exports stood at 29.1 percent compared to 9.9 percent in the same period last year due to a renewed 84,000 hectares for coffee crop production. Crude palm oil also increased by 28.9 percent.
According to finance minister Mauricio Cardenas, the government is committed to improving the production of soybeans, wheat, corn, and barley, among others, as these experienced losses due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Manufacturing recovered after dipping in the first two quarters of the year, and construction by only 0.8 percent, an unexpected result as the sector generated many jobs this year.
Mining and metals
At the other end of the spectrum, the mining industry is the only one that contracted by 1.1 percent.
“The third-quarter contraction was due to both a decrease in oil production as well as lower coal extraction.”The restrictions on the transport of coal in addition to the low prices of raw materials and lower external demand (especially from China), have discouraged production of mining and energy products,” the finance ministry explained.
The government stood by its growth outlook of 3.3 percent for 2015.