Colombian Economy Hit Hard by Global Downturn

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Newly released figures indicate that the Colombian economy has been hit hard by the economic slowdown with exports dropping off drastically and the country's trade balance going from surplus into deficit. The new statistics add to Colombia's economic woes following on from a recent fall in retail sales and a large increase in unemployment, as reported on here.

The new figures show that exports from Colombia have fallen by nearly 20% in the first four months of 2009 and that the trade balance went from a healthy surplus in the January-April 2008 period to a hundred million dollar deficit in the same period this year. The fall in oil prices, Colombia's biggest export, has also hit the economy hard as have the increasing costs of servicing the country's $30 billion debt.

In a bizarre twist to the latest economic indicators, the Colombian coffee export federation, Asoexport, announced that the county would shortly have to start importing coffee to meet domestic demand as production is not sufficient to meet the demands of both the export sector and the domestic market. In May the organisation announced that coffee production had fallen by a third in the first quarter of the year though the reason for the fall was not clear.

See also Credit Crunch Hits Colombia

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