New figures from Colombia’s statics agency show a growth of industrial production in the country of over 2% compared to the same period in 2013, the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) reported.
With the exclusion of coffee-processing and despite a minor slump in April, robust growth from January to March resulted in an overall increase of 2.6% in industrial production during the first four months of 2014, shaking off concerns of the effect of a continually strong Colombian currency against the US dollar.
The growth is largely down to higher production in sugar mills (28.9%), drinks (6.0%), metallic minerals (4.1%), clothing (9.0%), other food products (5.8%), dairy products (4.9%), car bodies (55.1%) and other transportation (6.5%).
Despite the growth, concerns linger on the manufacturing sector. Japanese car makers Mazda, for example, recently announced it would be shuttering their last Colombian plant.
April growth contracts
According to DANE figures, April saw a minor slump of 2.2% lower production compared with last year’s unprecedented high during the same month. The numbers show that growth was recorded by only 18 of the industry’s 44 sub-sectors over April, according to Colombia’s W Radio.
In the same period, the majority of sub-sectors contracted causing employment in the sector fall 0.5%.
Export competitiveness concerns
The sector’s overall growth comes amid rising interest rates in Colombia and a strengthening local currency, the peso, which makes Colombian exports appear more expensive in foreign markets. The blow to export competitiveness, in conjunction with the signing of a trade deal which makes US imports cheaper in Colombia, creates difficult conditions for local manufacturers.
- Aumenta producción industrial de enero a abril de 2014 (DANE)
- Aumenta 2,6 % la producción industrial de Colombia entre enero y abril de 2014 (W Radio)
- Colombia Industrial Production (Trading Economics)
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