The Colombian economy grew by 2.8% in the second quarter — the best second quarter since 2015 and up from the gross domestic produce increase (GDP) of 2.5% seen in the same period during 2017, according to government statistics.
For the first six months of the year, growth registered at 2.5% compared to the first half of 2017.
The biggest economic drivers in the quarter were public spending, including defense, social security, education, and health services (up 5.3%); industrial manufacturing (3.7%); and retail consumer and wholesale goods (3.6%).
The recovery in industrial manufacturing has been particularly profound. The sector had fallen by 4.7% in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the prior year and now was one of the largest contributors to the nation’s growth with its 3.7% uptick.
For its part, the banking, insurance, and financial services sector saw 2.7% growth in the quarter, although its rate of increase has slowed down over the past year. In the second quarter of 2017, the sector saw 7.8% year-over-year growth.
Construction took the biggest hit this quarter, down by 7.6%, while the mining sector also saw negative growth of 2.7%. This is a repeat poor performance for both industries, each of which was also in the red in the second quarter of 2017.
The overall results, however, further support the improvement in growth that is expected to continue in 2018.
Colombian GDP grew by just 1.8% in 2017 — the lowest figure in nine years — but it is expected by most analysts to finish 2018 up at least 2.5%, with the most-optimistic predictions forecasting closer to 3.0%.
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