Colombian economy could grow 4.5 pct in 2010-gov’t

* Growth seen at around 4.5 percent

* Industrial output, retail sales robust

BOGOTA, Aug 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Colombia’s economy could grow
around 4.5 percent in 2010, driven by industry, retail and
consumer confidence, in line with previous government and
central bank estimates, a top official said on Thursday.

Planning Director Hernando Jose Gomez said the government
of President Juan Manuel Santos was waiting for more detailed
information on productive sectors before setting a new target
for growth. The official target is still 3 percent.

“We believe economic growth could be around 4.5 percent
this year,” Gomez told reporters. “Everything seems to indicate
we will be growing above 4 percent.”

His remarks came after Colombia reported its industrial
production grew 8.5 percent in June and 5.8 percent in the
first six months of the year while retail sales expanded 15.4
percent in June and 9.8 percent in the first half of the year.

The Andean country’s economy grew 4.4 percent in the first
quarter of this year and the central bank recently estimated
the economy had grown 4.9 percent in the second quarter,
confirming robust recovery from the global financial crisis.

Hurt by that crisis and a trade dispute with neighboring
Venezuela, Colombia’s economy grew only 0.8 percent last year
and is still performing below that of other Latin America
countries such as Brazil, Chile and Peru.
(Reporting by Javier Mozzo, writing by Patrick Markey,
editing by Todd Eastham)

Colombian economy could grow 4.5 pct in 2010-gov’t