The external debt burden on Colombia rose 15.6% in the first half of 2014 compared to the same time last year, growing as much as 24.4% of the country’s GDP.
Colombia has been increasing its borrowing from international investors for over a decade, rising a full 145% since 2004. A large majority of that increase took place after the 2008 financial crisis – between 2000 and 2007, Colombia’s debt increased at an average rate of 3% per year; between 2008 and 2014, it increased at a 12% yearly average.
Colombia’s Debt Burden
Debt as % of GDP
In fact, servicing the country’s debt is the single most expensive account in the government’s 2015 budget, even bigger than the next biggest accounts, education and defense.
Standard & Poors credit rating for Colombia stands at BBB-, Moody’ s rating for Colombia sovereign debt is Baa3, and Fitch’s credit rating for Colombia is BBB-.