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Colombia : Office Snapshot - Q1 2014

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After a GDP growth of 4,3% in 2013, the government forecasts a similar growth in 2014. Although the figure for the first quarter of the year is yet to be revealed, several sources have reported good results in key areas such as construction, vehicle sales and equity markets. On the other hand, areas such as external trade (imports and exports) have seen some deceleration during the quarter.

Unemployment fell to 10,7% in February reaching its lowest level for the same month in 10 years. Compared to February 2013, the indicator was 1,1 percentage points lower. According to official data, the occupation rate reached nearly 21 million, which is the highest in 12 months.

Inflation registered an accumulated increase of 1,52% during the first three months of the year, compared to the 0,95% from the first quarter of 2013. The month of March registered an upswing of 2,51% in relation to the same period of the previous year, which registered an increase of 1,91% against the same month in 2012.

FDI registered a fall of 5.1% during the first quarter against the same period last year, which was mainly due because lower investment in sectors different to oil and mining which fell from $789 to $589 million. On the other hand, oil and mining registered an increase of 0,13%.

Interest rates remained unchanged by the Central Bank at 3,25% and reached a year since their last modification in March 2013. Finally, the exchange rate reached COP$1,965.23 per U.S. Dollar, which represents an increase of 7,3% against March 2013.

Source : Cushman & Wakefield