Colombia central bank may up GDP estimate for year -board member

BOGOTA, July 17 (Reuters) - Colombia’s central bank will likely raise its gross domestic product estimate for this year because of unexpectedly high first quarter growth, board member Juan Pablo Zarate said on Thursday.

“I think it’s probable that the technical team will raise the projection for growth in our inflation report, which will come out next month,” said Zarate, who was speaking to reporters in a personal capacity.

Colombia surprised the market in June by reporting high first-quarter growth of 6.4 percent.

The government revised its 2013 growth figure upward last month, to 4.7 percent from 4.3, but has not yet announced changes to its forecast for 2014, which currently stands at 4.7 percent.

“The growth figure surprised us,” said Zarate, one of seven central bank board members. “It was higher than we had thought.” (Reporting by Carlos Vargas. Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb. Editing by Andre Grenon)