BOGOTA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Colombia’s economy is likely to have grown between 4 percent and 5.2 percent in the third quarter, the board of the central bank said in minutes of their latest meeting published on Friday, while an above-potential growth rate will continue into next year.
The bank forecasts GDP growth for this year at between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent. The country’s positive output gap, or production beyond potential, will narrow this year, the minutes said.
The seven-member group of policymakers voted unanimously to maintain the benchmark interest rate at 4.5 percent in its October meeting. The bank had hiked the rate each month between April and August as growth surpassed the economy’s potential.
The sharp fall in crude oil prices this quarter has concerned policymakers, who warn that the weak state of the global economy could negatively impact Colombia.
The bank’s technical team believes the country will have a current account deficit of between 4.4 percent and 4.8 percent of gross domestic product for 2014. The minutes did not provide a comparative figure.
Growth for 2014 will be slightly above the economy’s potential, a trend which will continue next year, the minutes said. (Reporting by Bogota newsroom; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bernard Orr)