BOGOTA, April 14 Colombia's economy could grow
around 5 percent in 2014, President Juan Manuel Santos said on
Monday, more than the official government target of 4.7 percent
and above last year's 4.3 percent expansion.
"We're going quickly and I hope that if this pace keeps up,
the growth figure this year will be around 5 percent," Santos
told reporters while commenting on data published on Monday that
showed a 2.8 percent pick-up in industrial production in
February versus a year earlier and 6.7 percent rise in retail
Santos, who will run for re-election on May 25, cautioned
that he would not offer any firm figure as an estimate but
referred to the estimates of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and Colombia's central bank, which have forecast growth of
4.5 percent or a little more.
He said the Andean nation is likely to have achieved a good
level of growth in the first quarter of the year although data
for economic activity in March is not yet available.
The investor appeal of the world's fourth-biggest coal
exporter and major producer of arabica coffee has risen in the
last few weeks after J.P. Morgan raised its weighting of
Colombian government bonds in two of its key indexes - a sign of
confidence amid steady growth and low inflation.
(Reporting by Monica Garcia; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing
by Chris Gallagher)