Colombia flag Colombia: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Thanks to its market size, the extent of its natural resources (coffee, emeralds, oil and coal, among others) and a historical reputation as an exemplary debtor, Colombia has experienced a stable and solid growth for most of the past two decades. Although the country was affected by the fall in oil prices due to the pandemic in 2020, Colombia was able to recover in 2021, with GDP growth reaching an estimated 7.6% mainly due to a boost in petroleum exports and increased household consumption - which should continue to drive the economy in the coming years, supported by the ongoing recovery on the job market and the continuous implementation of fiscal support programs targeting low-income households. According to the IMF, GDP growth is expected to decrease to 3.8% in 2022 and 3.3% in 2023.

Colombia's account deficit widened to 4.4% of GDP in 2021, due to a higher trade deficit, compounded by rising freight costs and repatriated income from foreign investors. Additionally, the country's rebound in household consumption boosted imports, which exceeded the rise in exports despite higher agriculture and energy commodity prices, and contributed to Colombia's account deficit. The government balance was equal to -7.5% of the GDP in 2021, and the deficit should continue in the coming years, reaching -6.2% in 2022 and -4.4% in 2023. Inflation increased slightly in 2021, reaching 3.2%, and it should remain relatively stable at 3.5% in 2022 and 3% in 2023. Colombia’s public deficit remains a source of concern for the government and for investors. The decrease of FDI entering Colombia during the early stages of the pandemic led the government to finance itself through loans from multilateral banks which brought government debt to 66.7% of the GDP in 2021. Looking ahead, gross debt is expected to slightly increase to 67.6% in 2022 and 69.7% in 2023. In order to face the COVID-19 crisis and to help the Colombian population and companies, the government put in place a sizable fiscal package for 2020 and 2021, to strengthen the health system’s capacity to manage the pandemic and limit the economic and social fallout of the crisis. Overall, Colombia's fiscal measures to mitigate the pandemic have been effective in boosting economic activity, which has been gradually recovering.

One third of the Colombian population lives below the poverty line. Development policies for rural areas are a priority for the Colombian government. Unemployment rates, which increased in 2020 due to the outbreak of the pandemic, declined to 14.5% in 2021, and it should continue decreasing in the coming years. However, unemployment rates are not expected to go back to pre-pandemic levels in the short term. It should be noted, though, that more than half of the Colombian population continues to work in the informal sector. Overall, inequalities are strong throughout the country: Colombia has a Gini coefficient of 50.4, one of the highest in Latin America. Corruption and security remain as major concerns for individuals and businesses.

Main Indicators 202020212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 270.42314.41e342.92361.94380.37
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -7.010.7e7.62.22.8
GDP per Capita (USD) 56e667
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -4.5-6.2-7.7-4.1-3.2
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 65.764.661.160.059.2
Inflation Rate (%)
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force) 15.913.811.311.110.5
Current Account (billions USD) -9.21-17.83-17.64-15.80-16.28
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.4-5.7-5.1-4.4-4.3

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Colombian Peso (COP) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GBP 4,123.663,798.353,943.404,101.004,736.99

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: January 2023

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