Colombia’s finance minister on Thursday confirmed his country’s economy had slowed down in the first quarter of 2013 when the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 2.8% against 5.5% in the same period last year.
The slowdown of the South American country’s economy had already been announced by the country’s central bank in April, forcing the government to lower its economic prognosis for the entire year.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas explained to reporters on Thursday that the economic slowdown was mostly due to dropping commodity prices like gold, oil and coal resulting in a drop in the country’s revenue through exports. Adding to that, labor disputes in the mining and coffee sector weighed heavily on the successes of their respective sectors.
“We aren’t surprised by the number,” Cardenas said, adding the he expected the second quarter to be better than the first. “The economic motors have to keep advancing, we have to continue with the rhythm of the housing motor, the mining motor and the infrastructure motor.”
Cardenas’ optimism wasn’t shared by analysts polled by news agency Reuters earlier this week, who predicted Colombia’s GDP wouldn’t grow with 4.4% to 4.5% as predicted by the government, but is more likely to grow 4% over the year.