Colombia March consumer confidence lowest since 2009
BOGOTA, April 16 (Reuters) - Colombians' consumer confidence fell in March to its lowest level since June 2009 as slowing growth and falling economic expectations cloud the outlook for this year, a survey showed Thursday.
The consumer confidence index was 2.3 percent last month, down 11.7 percentage points from February and 16.2 points less than in March 2014.
That is the lowest level since a 2009 when the economy was roiled by a global credit crisis that sank much of the developed world into recession.
The survey, by economic think tank Fedesarrollo, showed a fall in confidence across all income levels, particularly among high-earners, and less consumer enthusiasm for purchases of housing, furniture and appliances.
Latin America's fourth-largest economy is expected by analysts to expand around 3.5 percent this year, below the government's 4.2 percent target.
The central bank considers consumer confidence figures when deciding the benchmark interest rate, which the bank board has held at 4.5 percent for seven straight months.
The index helps predict consumer spending through five measurements - three addressing economic expectations for a year from now and two on current outlooks. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb, Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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