Monday, March 30, 2009

"The R-Word" Reaches Colombia

You can see it everywhere: Empty storefronts, "Alquilar" signs popping up everywhere even in prime locations around Parque Lleras, or Zona Rosa, the main entertainment district in Medellin.

As of March 28, the recession officially arrived in Colombia: Richard Francis of Standard & Poor Rating Services declared that Colombia entered the recession in the first quarter of 2009. The Colombian economy contracted for the first time since 1999 in the 4th quarter of 2008, when it shrank by 0.7%. In contrast, the Colombian economy grew by a whopping 8.1% in 2007. Francis expects the Colombian economy to begin the recovery as soon as in the second half of this year, as long as foreign direct investment and government spending stay intact.

Still, the gross domestic product of Medellin is expected to grow by about one percent in 2009, not too bad considering the economic climate this world finds itself in.

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