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LatinNews Daily - 05 March 2021

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In brief: Colombia’s fiscal deficit set to rise

* Colombia’s finance minister, Alberto Carrasquilla, has presented new figures which show that Colombia’s fiscal deficit came in at 7.8% of GDP in 2020 and is set to rise to 8.6% of GDP in 2021, due to continued emergency spending programmes to address the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and an increase in public investment to drive an economic recovery. Carrasquilla said that in order to reduce public debt levels the national government would soon present a legislative bill which will include measures aimed at increasing the primary fiscal balance by at least 1.5 percentage points of GDP to ensure the sustainability of the country’s public finances. He also said that the government forecasts that Colombia’s GDP will grow 5% in 2021, after having contracted 6.8% last year due to the pandemic – the biggest contraction on record.