Colombia plans 185.5 trillion pesos in spending in 2013

(Reuters) – Colombia plans budgetary spending for next year of 185.5 trillion pesos ($103 billion), 12.2 percent higher than in 2012, a senior government source told Reuters on Thursday.

Latin America’s fourth-largest economy expects growth to stay steady in 2013 at 4.8 percent, the same level as the expansion target for this year as a cycle of rate hikes begins to cool the Andean nation’s gross domestic product.

The senior government source gave no details on the budget, which the finance minister is expected to present on Friday.

In April, Reuters obtained a copy of the draft bill that showed the government sought a budget worth 172.3 trillion pesos, but a lawmaker said in July that Colombia would seek spending of as much as 180 trillion pesos.

The government budgeted 165.3 trillion pesos of spending for this year.

A decade of heavy blows against drug-funded insurgents has improved security across the nation, making it easier for Colombians to find jobs, start businesses and create wealth.

That helped accelerate economic growth and attract record foreign investment to the Andean nation — more than $13 billion in foreign direct investment flowed into the economy last year, mostly into the oil and mining industries.

Colombia’s economy grew 5.9 percent last year.

The government is betting increased spending on security may help ward off a resurgence of attacks by guerrillas on the nation’s economic infrastructure.

$1=1,799.48 Colombian pesos

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