The Colombian economy is not protected against effects of the global
financial crisis like the Government and the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) claim, economist and former director of Colombia’s
Department of National Planning, Juan Carlos Echeverry said Sunday.
“What you see is a correction of the mistake made by businesses in 2007 [when Colombia went through en economic boom] and they relied too much on the continuity of economic performance and household consumption,” the economist told Caracol Radio.
Echeverry doesn’t expect the Central Bank’s decision to lower lending rates to 8 percent will take effect immediately. “This doesn’t mean that banks overnight will decide to lend money easily,because they fear what will happen to companies and are keeping a close eye on the capacity of those with credit to pay their debts.”
Basing his statements on the rise in unemployment, the collapse of
industrial output and the problems in Colombia’s export markets,
Echeverry said that the crisis is already affecting many
of Colombia’s businesses and warns that the problems can last until the
second half of 2010.