The Colombian economy “technically speaking” is not in recession,
despite showing a negative growth for two consecutive quarters, the country’s
Finance Minister said Thursday.
Colombia’s economy shrunk 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009 after shrinking 0.7 percent in the last quarter of 2008. When a country’s GDP contracts for two consecutive quarters this is called a recession, but according to Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluage this is not the case in Colombia and the country may even stay out of recession this year.
“Technically there is recession when two consecutive cuarters show a negative growth compared to the quarter before. The fouth quarter of 2008 compared to the third of the same year had a negative growth of 1.5 percent. But the first quarter of 2009, compared to the fourth [quarter] of 2008 shows a 0.2 positive growth,” the Minister explained.
Bogota says to be satisfied with how the Colombian economy is resisting the global financial crisis and did not shrink the 1.5 percent as predicted by analysts and is sees no reason to adapt its economic growth expectation for this year. Zuluaga expects the economy to pick up in the second half of this year and end 2009 with a positive growth taken over the whole year.