Colombia flag Colombia: Economic and Political Overview

The economic context of Colombia

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, Colombia was able to recover and, in 2022, the country recorded a GDP growth of an estimated 7.6%, mainly due to 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, the country's economy is expected to grow at a slower pace in 2023 and 2024, with GDP reaching an estimated 2.2% and 2.8%, respectively.

Colombia's account deficit decreased to 5.1% of GDP in 2022, mainly due to the country's trade deficit and high dollar outflows driven by dividend remittances and repatriated income from foreign investors. However, a decrease in the trade deficit due to a slowdown in import demand is expected in 2023, which should lead to an account deficit of 4.4%. In 2022, government balance increased -7.7% of GDP, and while the deficit should continue in the coming years, that rate is expected to decrease to -4.1% in 2023 and -3.2% in 2024. Inflation increased to 9.7% in 2022, but it is expected to decrease to 7.1% in 2023 and 4.3% in 2024. Colombia’s public deficit remains a source of concern for the government and for investors. In 2022, gross debt decreased to 61.1% of GDP and, looking ahead, that rate is expected to slightly decrease to 60% in 2023 and 59.2% in 2024. Although the pandemic has significantly impacted the Colombian economy, the country has been recovering, following the implementation of the government measures to counteract the resulting economic crisis. Overall, Colombia's fiscal measures to mitigate the pandemic have been effective in boosting economic activity, which has been gradually improving.

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 during the pandemic, declined to 11.3% in 2022, and should continue decreasing in the coming years - reaching 11.1% in 2023 and 10.5% in 2024. 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 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 343.62363.84373.43390.27410.64
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 6,6586,9767,0877,3347,642
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -6.7-2.9-2.6-3.0-2.9
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 60.455.055.155.454.8
Inflation Rate (%) n/a11.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force) 11.210.810.410.09.6
Current Account (billions USD) -21.45-17.84-16.05-16.72-16.80
Current Account (in % of GDP) -6.2-4.9-4.3-4.3-4.1

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021

Main Sectors of Industry

Natural resources are abundant in Colombia. The country has largest coal reserves in Latin America, and has the second largest hydroelectric potential in the continent, after Brazil. Colombia also has significant amounts of nickel, gold, silver, platinum, and emeralds, as well as large petroleum and natural gas reserves. Due to the climate and the topography of the country, agriculture is extensive and very diversified. Colombia's main crops are coffee, bananas, cut flowers, sugarcane, livestock, rice and corn. However, the share of agriculture in GDP has been falling consistently for over 50 years, as both industry and services have expanded, and it currently represents 7.4% of the GDP. Still, agriculture remains an important source of employment in the country, as it employs 15.8% of the workforce. Despite the negative impacts of the pandemic, Colombian agriculture has been experiencing a steady recovery over the past couple of years.

Colombia is the most industrially diverse country of the Andean Community, with four major industrial centres: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla. Most industries in the country are driven by agriculture and commodities, with the main industries being textile, chemical products, metallurgy, cement, cardboard containers, plastic resins and beverages. The sector represents 25% of the GDP and employs 20.1% of the workforce. Although the industrial sector was negatively impacted by the pandemic, especially due to weak global demand of coal and oil, industrial activity in Colombia registered a significant recovery in 2022.

The services sector’s importance has increased in recent years. It is becoming the backbone of the Colombian economy as it represents 58% of the GDP and employs 64.1% of the workforce. Tourism is one of the most important components of the service sector and has been particularly dynamic over the past few years, especially in Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali, and Barranquilla. The BPO sub-sector is one of the most dynamic with an average annual growth of 19% during the last 7 years. The services sector was hit the hardest during the early stages of the pandemic, especially tourism, hotels, restaurants, transport, and entertainment. However, the sector showed a significant recovery in 2022, with growth reaching pre-pandemic levels.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 15.9 20.1 63.9
Value Added (in % of GDP) 8.3 26.7 54.8
Value Added (Annual % Change) -1.9 6.8 8.8

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.}}

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Business environment ranking


The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

World Rank:

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit - Business Environment Rankings 2020-2024


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

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Sources of General Economic Information

Official list of ministries
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Spanish)
Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (in Spanish)
Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (in Spanish)
Directorate of Taxes and Customs in Colombia (in Spanish)
Ministry of Mines and Energy (in Spanish)
Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (in Spanish)
Statistical Office
National Institute of Statistics
Datos Abiertos - Open Data Portal (in Spanish)
Central Bank
Central Bank of Colombia
Stock Exchange
Bogota Stock Exchange
Economic Portals
Finance Colombia
The Bogota Post

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Latest Update: December 2023