Colombia has relaxed its deficit goals to reflect lower-than-expected government revenue and will increase its sales of local TES debt by about US$1 billon (2 trillion pesos) this year, a top official said on Tuesday.
The central government deficit is seen widening to 4 percent of gross domestic product this year, compared with a previous forecast of 3.7 percent, Finance Minister Oscar Zuluaga told a news conference.
The country’s economy has slowed under the weight of the world financial crisis, which has cut demand for Colombian exports. But the government is standing by its goal of 0.5 percent growth this year.
Colombia is also maintaining its expectation that it will borrow $1.5 billion in the international capital markets next year, Zuluaga said.
The 2009 consolidated fiscal deficit is expected to be 2.6 percent versus the government’s previous forecast of 2.4 percent, Zuluaga said.
Proceeds from the sale of state-controlled electricity generator Isagen PVS.CN, expected in December, will go toward 2010 financing, Zuluaga said.
Colombia has cut its forecast for 2009 government tax revenues to 68.2 trillion pesos ($33.8 billion) from a previous 70.6 trillion pesos.
The economy shrank in the last three months of last year and in the first quarter of 2009. But the government and private economists expect a recovery to begin before the end of the year.