The Colombian government posted a consolidated budget surplus equivalent to 0.2% of gross domestic product during the first half of the year, down from 1.4% in the same period in 2008, the finance ministry said Monday.
The ministry attributed the deficit to higher spending by the Colombian central government, which incurred a deficit of 0.9% of GDP, compared with a deficit of 0.1% during the first half of 2008. The central government’s data exclude profit and losses from state-owned companies and local governments.
Meanwhile, the surplus of towns and provinces narrowed to 0.4% of GDP in the first half of the year, down from 0.9% of GDP in the same period last year.
The consolidated budget includes profits and losses from state-owned companies and deficits or surpluses of local governments.
The Colombian government recently increased the budget-deficit forecast for 2009 to 2.6% of GDP, up from a previous 2.4% as a result of a lower tax collection. (Dow Jones)