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General Information Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), during 2018 the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 2.7%. The activities that drove the growth were: industry, commerce and transportation, public administration and defense, and other sectors associated to services, such as scientific, professional and technical activities.


GDP growth is projected in 2019 at 3.60%.


DANE - National Administrative Department of Statistics 



According to DANE data, the unemployment rate in the entire country was 9.7% in December 2018, showing an increase of 1.07% compared to December 2017.


During 2018, for 23 cities and metropolitan areas, the lowest unemployment rates were observed in cities such as Pasto with 7.4%, Pereira with 8.1% and Bucaramanga with 8.2%. On the other hand, the cities with the highest unemployment rates were Quibdó with 17,6%, Cúcuta with 15,8% and Ibagué with 15.2%.


Source: DANE - National Administrative Department of Statistics.

Foreign Trade


Exports closed 2018 with a growth of 10.4%, going from US $ 43,972.3 million FOB exported in 2017 to US $ 48,944.7 million exported in 2018. The group with the highest shares of exports was fuels and products from extractive industries with a 50.4%, equivalent to a growth of 17.5% compared to 2017; this behavior was mainly due to the sales of oil and its derivatives.


Main export destinations:

  • United States (24.3%) ↓
  • China (12.4%) ↑
  • Panama (6.6%) ↓
  • Turkey (5.1%) ↑
  • Mexico (4.0%) ↓



Imports amounted US $ 41,0831 million FOB, showing a growth of 11.3% as compared to 2017.

The group with the highest shares of imports was manufacturing with a 77.8%, equivalent to a growth of 13.2% compared to 2017; this behavior was mainly due to purchases of machinery and transport equipment.


Main countries of origin of imports:

  • United States (26.6%) →
  • China (19.5%) →
  • Mexico (6.7%) ↑
  • Brazil (5.8%) ↓
  • Germany (4.7%) ↓

In 2018 there was a deficit in the trade balance of US $ 7,113 million FOB, in 2017 there was a deficit of US $ 6,092 million FOB.


DANE - National Administrative Department of Statistics 
DIAN - National Directorate of Taxes and Customs


Trade BalanceImportsExport


According to the DANE, the consumer price index for 2018 was 3.18%, slightly above the target range. Thus, annualized inflation maintained its downwards trend.


By spending groups, what most influenced the cost of living of Colombians during 2018 were education (6.38%), health (4.33%), housing (4.13%) and transportation. (3.73%).


DANE National Administrative Department of Statistics. 
Projection estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Interest Rate

The Board of Directors decided to maintain the interest rate at 4.25%.


It is expected that the interest rate will move slightly in June, this, standing at 4.50%.


The decision of the Central Bank was based on the good performance of inflation in the first two months of 2019, which was much lower than expected, and also, the current stability of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve Board  (Fed).


Source: Central Bank (Colombia)

Foreign Direct Investment

In 2018, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country was US$ 11,010 million compared to US $ 13,836 million in 2017, which represents a reduction of 20.4%.


The sector that most contributed was financial and business services, with a total investment of US$ 1,985 million, an increase of 21.6% compared to 2017, followed by the mining and quarrying sector (including coal) with a total investment of US $ 1,711 million, an increase of 78.3 % compared to 2017.
Source: Central Bank (Colombia)


Source: Ministry of Finance and Public Credit


Mining & QuarryingFinancial and Business ServicesForeign Direct Investment