Colombia set its fiscal deficit target for 2011 at 4.1% of gross domestic product as higher tax revenue should help offset added spending to deal with massive floods that have destroyed roads and farmland.
Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said Tuesday during a conference call that the central government deficit, which excludes state-owned companies and local governments, “in a worst case scenario” would end 2011 at 4.1%, slightly higher than the 3.9% figure for 2010. Echeverry said that he expected the 2011 deficit to end below 4% of GDP.
The government is trying to deal with the devastating impact of heavy downpours that lashed the country in the last months of 2010 without hiking its deficit. Part of the government’s plan calls for the partial privatization of Ecopetrol SA, the state-run oil company.