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UPDATE 1-IMF sees Colombia 2011 GDP growth closer to 5 pct
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BOGOTA, June 23 (Reuters) - An IMF official said on Thursday that the world body was revising its forecast of Colombia's 2011 economic growth upward from an initial forecast of 4.6 percent to closer to 5 percent.
Andy Wolfe, the head of an IMF mission to Colombia, told reporters that it was raising Colombia's growth forecast after the government reported earlier in the day that the country's gross domestic product grew a stronger-than-expected 5.1 percent in the first quarter versus a year earlier.
"We provided a forecast of 4.6 percent for the year (2011) but the first quarter (data) was better than we were predicting, so we're going to change our projection to closer to 5 (percent)," he said at the end of the mission's visit to Colombia.
"Our team is working on the (exact) calculation," he said of the growth forecast revision.
Asked if he saw GDP growth this year reaching 5 percent or close to 5 percent, Wolfe replied "close to 5 percent."
Colombia's economy grew 4.3 percent in 2010, nearly triple the 1.5 percent GDP growth in 2009, when it was one of the few countries in Latin America to post economic expansion. (Reporting by Walker Simon; editing by Carol Bishopric)
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