Colombia’s consolidated fiscal
deficit will widen to between 0.7 and 1 percent of gross
domestic product as the global crisis trims economic growth,
President Alvaro Uribe said on Tuesday.
This year the government expects a wider deficit due to
growth slowing to an estimated 3 percent, more debt servicing
payments because of a fall in the peso currency, and a
slide in tax revenues.
The figure, however, would still fall below a previously
expected fiscal deficit target set by the government of 1.4
percent for the year. The deficit last year was 0.1 percent of
“The country was practically in balance last year, this
year we are going to have to grow the deficit to between 0.7
percent and 1 percent,” Uribe said in remarks broadcast on
It is the second time in the last few months Uribe has
warned about an increase in the deficit in public finances. In
November last year, the Colombian leader said the deficit would
widen as his government helped out victims of heavy rains that
left thousands homeless.
Last year the fiscal balance was aided by better than
expected tax revenue, higher global oil prices and lower
spending by local authorities. (Reuters)