Colombia’s industrial production
fell 3.5 percent last year compared with 2007 as the global
economic slowdown hit demand hard in the sharpest fall since
1999, the government’s statistics agency said on Thursday.
Retail sales dropped 9.2 percent in December from the same
month a year earlier, the biggest monthly drop for the month
since 1998, the DANE national statistics agency said.
Only 15 of the 48 industrial sectors measured by the DANE
expanded in December, while 18 showed growth in the full year.
Colombia’s industrial output fell 13.3 percent in November,
but government officials had indicated manufacturing sectors
had performed slightly better in the last month of the year.
Retail sales in December fell 3.4 percent compared with the
same month a year earlier while retail sales for full-year 2008
crept up 0.5 percent from 2007.
Colombia’s official government forecasts show GDP slowing
to 3 percent this year. The central bank, however, estimates
economic expansion at 2 percent for 2009. (Reuters)