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BOGOTA, February 15 (Reuters) – The Colombian economy shrank 6.8% in 2020 from the previous year, the government said on Monday, following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a lockdown of more than five months.
The 2020 contraction was lower than forecast by analysts, who said the Andean country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will contract by 7%, but in line with government forecasts.
The least optimistic central bank expected the economy to contract 7.2% in 2020.
Gross domestic product fell 3.6% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, the government statistics agency DANE said at a press conference, but was up 6% from the same period the previous year. in the third quarter of 2020.
Latin America’s fourth-largest economy has been hit by measures put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, including a lockdown that lasted from late March to late August.
The lockdown has seen thousands of businesses shut down, causing unemployment to skyrocket.
âAlmost half of the contraction came from April, May and June. It was three months, which is the second trimester, which contributed greatly to the contraction,â Oviedo said.
The Colombian economy shrank 15.8% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the period a year earlier, the worst quarterly performance in at least decades, before recovering in subsequent quarters.
The construction sector contracted by 27.7% in 2020 compared to 2019, while the mining sector fell by 15.7% and the retail, wholesale, transportation, hotel and restaurant services contracted by 15.1%.
Agriculture grew 2.8%, while finance grew 2.1%.
The Colombian economy was worth around $ 285 billion in 2020.
(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra, Carlos Vargas and Julia Symmes Cobb Writing by Oliver Griffin; editing by Grant McCool)
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