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Latin America’s Fastest Economy Now Faces Worst Slump Since 1905

  • Colombia’s stimulus measures have been smaller than peers’
  • Finance Ministry forecasts a contraction of 5.5% this year
Employees wait to enter a factory in Soacha, Colombia on April 27.
Employees wait to enter a factory in Soacha, Colombia on April 27.Photographer: Ivan Valencia/Bloomberg

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Colombia was forecast to be Latin America’s top-performing major economy for the second year running. Now it appears headed for its deepest slump since records began in 1905.

With businesses including the national airline Avianca going bankrupt, and widespread hunger as millions lose their jobs, the government of President Ivan Duque is trying to pull off a difficult balancing act: provide enough stimulus to prevent even greater devastation, but without running up so much debt that the nation loses its investment grade credit rating.