Colombia’s central government posted a deficit equivalent to 0.8% of gross domestic product in the first half of the year, unchanged from the same period in 2009.
The government calculates that its central budget deficit for the year, which doesn’t include dividends paid by state oil firm Ecopetrol and other state companies, will be 4.4%.
The government’s consolidated budget deficit, which includes state companies and regional governments, came in at 146 billion Colombian pesos ($79.3 million), the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Authorities estimate a consolidated deficit in 2010 equivalent to 3.6% of the country’s GDP.
Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry has said he expects the economy will expand by 5% this year. The economy grew 4.5% in the second quarter, the government’s statistics department said on Sept. 23.
Colombian lawmakers approved last week the government’s 2011 budget and left it unchanged at COP147.3 trillion. The government’s estimated consolidated budget deficit will be equivalent to 3.4% of GDP while the deficit of the central government will be equivalent to 4.1% of GDP.