Colombia said Wednesday its consolidated budget deficit, which includes the central and regional governments as well as state-owned enterprises, was 2.2% of gross domestic product in 2011, an improvement from the government’s own forecast in December of 2.9% of GDP.
A statement from the Finance Ministry said the central government deficit was 2.9% of GDP, compared with an earlier forecast of 3.2% of GDP.
Colombia’s improved management of its finances in recent years convinced ratings agencies in 2011 to upgrade the nation’s sovereign foreign debt to investment grade.
Brokerage firm Global Securities said the new deficit figures for 2011 could help persuade the ratings agencies to also lift its so-called ratings outlooks on Colombia to positive from stable.
“These [figures] confirm the consistent improvement in Colombia’s public finances right in the middle of a serious fiscal crisis among developed countries,” Colombia-based Global Securities said.
For 2012, the Finance Ministry said it aims to narrow its consolidated fiscal deficit target this year to 1.8% of GDP, while its central government deficit target will be 2.8% of GDP.