Colombia raised its estimated central-government deficit for 2011, included in its proposed budget for next year, to 4.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) from the previous target of 3.9% of GDP.
Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said Tuesday that the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos adjusted its budget proposal for 2011 by adding to COP2 trillion ($1.1 billion) in investment projects, which would lead to the increase in the estimated central government deficit for next year.
The previous budget proposal, which was drafted by the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe, estimated that the central government deficit, which excludes profits and losses reported by state-owned companies and surpluses and deficits of local governments, would come in at 3.9% of GDP.
The central government deficit is expected to close this year at 4.4% of economic output. Despite the increase for 2011, the Santos administration has said that one of its main policy goals is to reduce the central government’s deficit to 1.5% in four years.
Congress is set to start debating Wednesday the budget proposal for next year.