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Economic News from Latin America - 2002-08-16

Colombia says it will need to raise about $4 billion next year to meet its debt and interest payments.

Deputy Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla told investors and analysts Friday that Bogota hopes slightly more than half of the money will come from international lenders, with the rest to be raised from international markets.

Mr. Carrasquilla said contingency plans call for tapping state enterprises, such as the oil industry, or raising the money on the local debt market. Colombian officials also say they are considering the sale of so-called "war bonds" in coming years to finance President Alvaro Uribe's promised crackdown on leftist rebels.

Mexico says its economic output expanded from April to June, pushing the sluggish economy into positive territory for the first time in 12 months.

Finance ministry officials said Thursday that the gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced within a country, rose slightly more than two percent in comparison with the same period of 2001.

Officials said the boost was due to four additional working days in the second quarter compared to last year's calendar, because the Easter holidays fell in March this year instead of April. Mexican officials say they expect the country's GDP growth to be around two percent for the entire year.