Industrial production and retail sales in Colombia registered double-digit growth in March, driven by robust domestic consumption, which anticipates a favorable performance of the economy in the first quarter, said on Friday the National Department of Statistics (DANE).

The manufacturing industry reported an increase in its production of 12.3% year-on-year in March, surpassing even the increase of 10.7% that it exhibited during February.

Month-on-month, industry output rose 2.5 percent.

The growth of the industry was explained by the production of dues, the activities of clothing and manufacturing of paper, cardboard and its by-products, DANE specified.

Between January and March, the industry’s production accumulated an increase of 12.5 percent.

Along the same lines, retail sales soared 12% in March, well above the 2.2% recorded in the same month of the previous year, as well as the 4.9% figure in February.

Sales in the third month were supported in part by the day without VAT that took place on March 11, which represented a 19% decrease in the prices of some goods.

In the first three months, retail sales accumulated a rise of 12.4 percent.

“What we are seeing is that the important impulse that household consumption is going to have in the growth of the economy is confirmed,” said the director of DANE, Juan Daniel Oviedo.

According to the median of a Reuters survey, the fourth largest economy in Latin America would have expanded by 7.5% in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year.



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