WASHINGTON Feb 4 Colombia's economic growth
will edge up to 4.4 percent in 2013, with inflation remaining
within the central bank's official target range, the
International Monetary Fund said on Monday, but it warned of
vulnerability to external shocks.
IMF staff, in a regular assessment of Colombia's economic
health, also said the Colombia peso appeared overvalued on a
real exchange-rate basis by between 1.0 percent and 8.0 percent,
though it said strengthening could reflect improvements in
"Colombia appears well positioned to address the important
medium-term challenges facing the country," the IMF board said
in a statement. "Directors agreed that the broadly neutral
policy stance planned for 2013 is appropriate, and that the 2013
budget is in line with medium-term fiscal consolidation plans."
The South American nation weathered the global financial
shocks of 2008-2009, and monetary policy has scope for further
easing if growth is weaker than expected, the IMF said.
"Spillovers from the global turmoil have been limited so
far. However, Colombia remains vulnerable to a sharp growth
slowdown in trading partners, a steep drop in oil prices, or a
sharp rise in global risk aversion," it said.
With solid growth this year and inflation expected to remain
around the mid-point of the central bank's 2-4 percent target
range, the IMF encouraged Colombia's authorities to consider a
more ambitious fiscal consolidation plan.
"Focused on increasing non-commodity revenue, (this) could
help mitigate the appreciation pressure, build buffers against
adverse commodity price shocks, and create fiscal space for
improving public infrastructure," the IMF said.