BOGOTA, June 10 (Reuters) - Colombia's economy expanded by less than 3 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period of 2014 but recent figures signal a recovery over the rest of the year, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Wednesday.
Cardenas's projection is in line with those of analysts in a recent Reuters survey who estimated gross domestic product grew by 2.8 percent in the first three months of the year.
"From what we know growth is a little lower, but that doesn't mean it will continue that way for the rest of the year," Cardenas told local radio Caracol.
"If the figure for the first quarter is something below 3 percent it does not mean that the economy will be below 3 percent for the year," he added.
The government statistics agency will publish first-quarter economic data on Friday.
Analysts and officials have reduced their 2015 growth forecasts for Latin America's fourth-largest economy to between 3 and 3.5 percent, down from the government's initial figure of 4.2 percent, because of low prices for crude oil, the nation's largest export.
"There are partial indicators that show that the economy is advancing and that it has adjusted well to oil's new reality," Cardenas said.
The economy grew by 4.6 percent in 2014. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Peter Galloway)