Colombia’s retail sales and industrial output both rose in March, according to government data out Thursday.
Retail sales surged 14.6% in March from a year earlier, while industrial output climbed a healthy 5.2% in March, the government’s statistics agency, known as DANE, said in a statement.
The explosive surge in retail sales comes as many Colombians go on a shopping spree for big-ticket items such as cars and home appliances, due to a stronger local currency that has made imported goods more affordable.
The central bank says consumer spending is a leading driver of economic activity this year. The bank forecasts the economy to grow between 4% and 6% in 2011 after expanding 4.3% in 2010.