UPDATE 2-Colombia cuts 2015 economic growth target to 4.2 pct -Santos

martes 23 de diciembre de 2014 16:44 GYT

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By Peter Murphy and Nelson Bocanegra

BOGOTA Dec 23 (Reuters) - Colombia cut its economic growth target for 2015 to 4.2 percent, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Tuesday, down from 4.8 percent previously, as lower crude oil prices cut government revenues from the country's top export.

The million-barrel-per-day producer expects to see typical government earnings from oil slashed by $3.9 billion in 2015, or nearly 30 percent, due to a recent plunge in crude prices, cash it will replace through a new tax reform and extra borrowing.

"Today Colombia's crude oil is valued at $50. This is almost half what we had been thinking," Santos said, referring to prior economic projections based on an oil price of $97 per barrel.

"These circumstances will cause the Colombian economy to grow a little less next year, in 2015, compared with this year," he said during a press conference to announce the new figures.

Santos said the central government deficit for 2015 was now expected to be 2.8 percent, up from 2.4 percent previously forecast. That was within the requirements of the fiscal law and spending would be cut if required, Santos said.

The government increased its target for foreign dollar-denominated bond issues in 2015 to $3.5 billion from the $3 billion estimated in June.