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Economy & Business - November 2020

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

COLOMBIA | Ecopetrol profits recover. On 27 October, Colombia’s state-owned oil company Ecopetrol reported that its earnings in the third quarter of the year totalled Col$855bn (US$224.4m), down 71.6% on the Col$3trn registered in the same period in 2019. However, this represented an improvement on the Col$133bn earnings reported in the first quarter of 2020, and the Col$25bn reported in the second quarter, which were affected by the impact that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic had on the global economy and on oil prices in particular. Ecopetrol president, Felipe Bayón, voiced optimism that the figures for the third quarter are a sign of recovery, reflecting a return to full operating capacity following the loosening of restrictions intended to control the spread of Covid-19, and said he hoped that growing demand would soon see oil prices recover too. Colombia’s central bank (Banrep) has suggested that the country’s economy more broadly was less affected by the pandemic than had initially been feared – although its revised estimate for economic growth in 2020, predicting a 7.6% contraction rather than the 8.5% previously forecast, shows that the impact will nonetheless be substantial

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