Coronavirus Colombia: commerce and industry continue to show improvement in pandemic – Sectors – Economy


After the economy fell into the most severe crisis in history since April due to the brake that had to be made due to the covid-19 pandemic, economic indicators continue to gradually recover. According to him Dane, in the case of trade, in October, for the first time, the level of sales was higher in real terms (discounting inflation) than that observed in the same month of 2019.

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According to the entity, the real sales of the retail trade and of vehicles in the tenth month of the year had a variation of 3 percent compared to the same month of the previous year and, if the commercialization of fuels and vehicles is excluded, the increase was 7.2 percent.

However, due to the effects of the strong contraction in economic activity on the economy, between January and October the annual variation of real sales of retail trade and vehicles was -9.8 percent compared to the same period of 2019 .

When reviewing the evolution of marketing by types of merchandise, last October, real sales of food and groceries in general rose 5.2 percent compared to the same month in 2019, and, according to the entity’s report This line was the one that made the greatest positive contribution (one percentage point) to the annual variation of 3 percent in the indicator, that is, 33 percent.

Meanwhile, the trade in computer and telecommunications equipment for personal or domestic use had a variation of 30.9 percent in October, while the sales of electrical appliances and home furnishings rose 28.3 percent, each contributing with 0.9 percentage points to the annual variation.

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The figures, according to analysts, show, as trade opens, what are the activities that are giving the economy a boost to reactivate. According to Sergio Olarte, chief economist at Scotiabank Colpatria, the dynamics of October were mainly benefited by the retail sales of food, alcoholic beverages, household appliances and pharmaceuticals, a situation that indicates that the consumption of durable goods and goods and services preferential has been the fundamental source in the recovery of the economy.

However, the analyst emphasizes that, obviously, there are still sectors that are falling in annual terms, as has been the case of clothing, footwear and everything related to vehicles and auto parts, which still show negative variations.

“Retail sales show us good news and make us think about good prospects for November (day without VAT), and, additionally, about the recovery of the economy, as from September the Government allowed the 95 percent of the economy produce freely, “he added.

Industry, on the road

Meanwhile, Dane reported that the manufacturing industry last October registered a 2.7 percent contraction in its production compared to the tenth month of 2019, and of the 39 industrial activities represented by the survey, a total of 26 registered variations negative in its real production, subtracting 4.3 percentage points from the total annual variation, while 13 subsectors with positive variations together added 1.7 percentage points to the total variation.

For Sergio Olarte, from Scotiabank Colpatria, this result should be seen as good news, since these 13 activities correspond to 34 percent of the manufacturing industry, while, for example, in September, 28 percent had been located on land positive.

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In addition, when reviewing the pace of recovery since April, the month in which the economy almost stopped due to the pandemic, it is observed that industrial production is progressively heading towards positive territory, although it lags behind trade.

According to Dane, between September and October, industrial production had a growth of 5.6 percent, when its index went from 101.5 to 107.2, while compared to the April index, which was 61.8, this sector has increased its production by 73.5 percent.

According to the entity, the October result was mainly explained by a drop in coking, oil refining and fuel mix (-0.6 percent), while, with a variation of 21.8 percent, the production of sugar and panela was the activity with the greatest positive contribution (0.5 percent) to the total annual variation.

So far this year (January-October 2020), in the national total, the real production of the manufacturing industry fell 9.7 percent, as well as real sales (-9.5 percent) and employed personnel ( -5.9 percent), compared to the same period in 2019.

Hotel break in October

As various activities were opened and tourism was allowed to return, hotel occupancy improved at a very low rate, but after it rose 4.3 percentage points in September and closed at 18 percent, in October the indicator gave a jump almost double what was seen in September.

According to Dane, for October, the occupancy level of hotel beds was 25.8 percent, that is, 7.8 percentage points more than in September and almost 17 points above the 8.3 percent of April, but still at half pre-pandemic levels of 50.6 percent in February and 50.2 percent in January.

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Of the 25.8 percent occupancy in October, that related to leisure or vacations contributed half (12.6 percentage points), businesses had a share of 11.3 percentage points, other reasons had 1.7 points and conventions It contributed 0.2 points, reflecting that the pandemic forced the cancellation of all the events that were held regularly in various cities.

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