BOGOTA, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Colombia’s peso currency, which has depreciated nearly 60 percent in the last year, will stay near 3,000 to the dollar for “a good while” because of low oil prices, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Wednesday.
The currency reached a record low of 3,043.9 pesos to the dollar on Wednesday, bringing depreciation to 59.3 percent over the last 12 months.
“The era of a cheap dollar is over. Now we’re in a new reality with a dollar at 3,000 pesos and I personally think that this will last for a good while, because I don’t see conditions for the oil price to go up,” Cardenas told reporters after a presentation in Congress.
Cardenas said he could not classify the depreciation as either good or bad, but said the fall in the price of oil, Colombia’s largest export and source of foreign exchange, would have negative fiscal repercussions.
Colombia’s finances have been hurt by the global fall in the price of crude, which provides nearly a quarter of government income.
Analysts expect Latin America’s fourth-largest economy to expand about 3 percent this year, down from 4.6 percent growth in 2014 and below the government’s 3.6 percent target.
Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra,; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Dan Grebler