Colombia’s imports rose 13 percent to $5.16 billion in July compared with the same month last year, the government statistics agency said today in a report on its website.

Colombia posted a $214 million trade deficit in July. The trade deficit compares with a median forecast for a $129 million surplus in a Bloomberg survey of 10 analysts.

Spending on imports has been boosted by an 8.1 percent appreciation in the Colombian peso this year, the fifth-biggest gain among 170 currencies tracked by Bloomberg, boosting spending on imports.

Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said Sept. 11 that the government is planning dollar purchases at the same time as the nation’s central bank in an effort to limit the peso’s appreciation.

In a bid to stem the peso’s rally, which hurts Colombian exporters, President Juan Manuel Santos said Sept. 7 that the government will continue to buy dollars in the spot market and urged the central bank to increase its own purchases of the greenback.

Source: Bloomberg