Peru vs. Colombia


Economy - overview

Peru's economy reflects its varied topography - an arid lowland coastal region, the central high sierra of the Andes, and the dense forest of the Amazon. A wide range of important mineral resources are found in the mountainous and coastal areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. Peru is the world's second largest producer of silver and copper.

The Peruvian economy grew by an average of 5.6% per year from 2009-13 with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. This growth was due partly to high international prices for Peru's metals and minerals exports, which account for 55% of the country's total exports. Growth slipped from 2014 to 2017, due to weaker world prices for these resources. Despite Peru's strong macroeconomic performance, dependence on minerals and metals exports and imported foodstuffs makes the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices.

Peru's rapid expansion coupled with cash transfers and other programs have helped to reduce the national poverty rate by over 35 percentage points since 2004, but inequality persists and continued to pose a challenge for the Ollanta HUMALA administration, which championed a policy of social inclusion and a more equitable distribution of income. Poor infrastructure hinders the spread of growth to Peru's non-coastal areas. The HUMALA administration passed several economic stimulus packages in 2014 to bolster growth, including reforms to environmental regulations in order to spur investment in Peru’s lucrative mining sector, a move that was opposed by some environmental groups. However, in 2015, mining investment fell as global commodity prices remained low and social conflicts plagued the sector.

Peru's free trade policy continued under the HUMALA administration; since 2006, Peru has signed trade deals with the US, Canada, Singapore, China, Korea, Mexico, Japan, the EU, the European Free Trade Association, Chile, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Honduras, concluded negotiations with Guatemala and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and begun trade talks with El Salvador, India, and Turkey. Peru also has signed a trade pact with Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, called the Pacific Alliance, that seeks integration of services, capital, investment and movement of people. Since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in February 2009, total trade between Peru and the US has doubled. President Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI succeeded HUMALA in July 2016 and is focusing on economic reforms and free market policies aimed at boosting investment in Peru. Mining output increased significantly in 2016-17, which helped Peru attain one of the highest GDP growth rates in Latin America, and Peru should maintain strong growth in 2018. However, economic performance was depressed by delays in infrastructure mega-projects and the start of a corruption scandal associated with a Brazilian firm. Massive flooding in early 2017 also was a drag on growth, offset somewhat by additional public spending aimed at recovery efforts.

Colombia heavily depends on energy and mining exports, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices. Colombia is Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer and the world’s fourth largest coal producer, third largest coffee exporter, and second largest cut flowers exporter. Colombia’s economic development is hampered by inadequate infrastructure, poverty, narcotrafficking, and an uncertain security situation, in addition to dependence on primary commodities (goods that have little value-added from processing or labor inputs).

Colombia’s economy slowed in 2017 because of falling world market prices for oil and lower domestic oil production due to insurgent attacks on pipeline infrastructure. Although real GDP growth averaged 4.7% during the past decade, it fell to an estimated 1.8% in 2017. Declining oil prices also have contributed to reduced government revenues. In 2016, oil revenue dropped below 4% of the federal budget and likely remained below 4% in 2017. A Western credit rating agency in December 2017 downgraded Colombia’s sovereign credit rating to BBB-, because of weaker-than-expected growth and increasing external debt. Colombia has struggled to address local referendums against foreign investment, which have slowed its expansion, especially in the oil and mining sectors. Colombia’s FDI declined by 3% to $10.2 billion between January and September 2017.

Colombia has signed or is negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with more than a dozen countries; the US-Colombia FTA went into effect in May 2012. Colombia is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance—a regional trade block formed in 2012 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru to promote regional trade and economic integration. The Colombian government took steps in 2017 to address several bilateral trade irritants with the US, including those on truck scrappage, distilled spirits, pharmaceuticals, ethanol imports, and labor rights. Colombia hopes to accede to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$417.69 billion (2019 est.)

$408.898 billion (2018 est.)

$393.259 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$741.099 billion (2019 est.)

$717.7 billion (2018 est.)

$700.091 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.18% (2019 est.)

3.97% (2018 est.)

2.48% (2017 est.)
3.26% (2019 est.)

2.51% (2018 est.)

1.36% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$12,848 (2019 est.)

$12,782 (2018 est.)

$12,507 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$14,722 (2019 est.)

$14,452 (2018 est.)

$14,314 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 7.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.7% (2017 est.)

services: 59.9% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 7.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 30.8% (2017 est.)

services: 62.1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line20.2% (2019 est.)35.7% (2019 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.4%

highest 10%: 36.1% (2010 est.)
lowest 10%: 1.2%

highest 10%: 39.6% (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.1% (2019 est.)

1.3% (2018 est.)

2.8% (2017 est.)

note: data are for metropolitan Lima, annual average
3.5% (2019 est.)

3.2% (2018 est.)

4.3% (2017 est.)
Labor force3.421 million (2020 est.)

note: individuals older than 14 years of age
19.309 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 25.8%

industry: 17.4%

services: 56.8% (2011)
agriculture: 17%

industry: 21%

services: 62% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate6.58% (2019 est.)

6.73% (2018 est.)

note: data are for metropolitan Lima; widespread underemployment
10.5% (2019 est.)

9.68% (2018 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index42.8 (2018 est.)

51 (2005)
50.4 (2018 est.)

53.5 (2014)
Budgetrevenues: 58.06 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 64.81 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 83.35 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 91.73 billion (2017 est.)
Industriesmining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas and natural gas liquefaction; fishing and fish processing, cement, glass, textiles, clothing, food processing, beer, soft drinks, rubber, machinery, electrical machinery, chemicals, furnituretextiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
Industrial production growth rate2.7% (2017 est.)-2.2% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productssugar cane, potatoes, rice, plantains, milk, poultry, maize, cassava, oil palm fruit, grapessugar cane, milk, oil palm fruit, potatoes, rice, bananas, cassava leaves, plantains, poultry, maize
Exports$55.583 billion (2019 est.)

$55.129 billion (2018 est.)

$53.823 billion (2017 est.)
$61.697 billion (2019 est.)

$60.151 billion (2018 est.)

$59.644 billion (2017 est.)
Exports - commoditiescopper, gold, refined petroleum, zinc, fishmeal, tropical fruits, lead, iron, molybdenum (2019)crude petroleum, coal, refined petroleum, coffee, gold (2019)
Exports - partnersChina 29%, United States 12%, Canada 5%, South Korea 5%, Switzerland 5% (2019)United States 31%, China 11%, Panama 6%, Ecuador 5% (2019)
Imports$48.211 billion (2019 est.)

$47.616 billion (2018 est.)

$46.15 billion (2017 est.)
$87.072 billion (2019 est.)

$80.546 billion (2018 est.)

$76.136 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commoditiesrefined petroleum, crude petroleum, cars, broadcasting equipment, delivery trucks (2019)refined petroleum, cars, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicines, corn (2019)
Imports - partnersChina 24%, United States 22%, Brazil 6% (2019)United States 27%, China 20%, Mexico 7%, Brazil 6% (2019)
Debt - external$81.333 billion (2019 est.)

$75.467 billion (2018 est.)
$135.644 billion (2019 est.)

$128.238 billion (2018 est.)
Exchange ratesnuevo sol (PEN) per US dollar -

3.599 (2020 est.)

3.3799 (2019 est.)

3.366 (2018 est.)

3.185 (2014 est.)

2.8383 (2013 est.)
Colombian pesos (COP) per US dollar -

3,457.93 (2020 est.)

3,416.5 (2019 est.)

3,147.43 (2018 est.)

2,001 (2014 est.)

2,001.1 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar yearcalendar year
Public debt25.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

24.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued by government entities other than the treasury; the data exclude treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities
49.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

49.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$63.83 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$61.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$47.13 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$46.18 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$3.531 billion (2019 est.)

-$3.821 billion (2018 est.)
-$13.748 billion (2019 est.)

-$13.118 billion (2018 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$230.707 billion (2019 est.)$323.255 billion (2019 est.)
Taxes and other revenues27.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)26.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)-2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 7.3%

male: 6.9%

female: 7.9% (2019 est.)
total: 20%

male: 15.9%

female: 25.4% (2019 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 64.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.7% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 24% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -22% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 68.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 14.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 22.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 14.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -19.7% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving19.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

19.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

19% of GDP (2015 est.)
15.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

16.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

16.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook