The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for Colombia. Last june it had projected a decrease of 7.8%, but lastest figures predict a -8.2% contraction. In september, Colombia increased by $ 6.5 billion its flexible credit line with the IMF. The agency expects a 4% rebound by 2021. Regarding the regional Gross Domestic Product, the entity forecasts a contraction of 8.1% compared to the 9.4% forecast in June, and a regional recovery of 3.6%. The Fund added that the outlook continues to be "precarious" in emerging economies.
The Colombian central bank reported that direct foreign investment in Colombia between January and September 2020 was $ 6,371.1 million, 26% lower than was registered in the same period of 2019, when it was $ 7,260.9 million. Foreign direct investment in oil, hydrocarbons and mining fell the most during the first nine months of the year, from $ 5,410.8 million in 2019 to $ 3,089.6 million in the same period of 2020.
The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) revealed that 35.7% of the Colombian population live in monetary poverty. In 2019, 661,899 people fell into monetary poverty, for a total of 17.4 million Colombians. The monetary poverty line stood at $ 84. Poverty in municipal capitals in 2019 was 32.3%, an increase of 0.9 percentage points. Extreme monetary poverty rose from 8.2% in 2018 to 9.6% in 2019, which accounts for 728,955 people.
The National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane) reported that between June and August, the proportion of informal workers in the 13 principal cities and metropolitan areas was 46.4%, and that for the total of the 23 cities and metropolitan areas it was 47.2 %. These figures represented an increase of 0.6 percentage points in the 13 main cities and 0.2 percentage points in the national estimates.
The Formal Employment Support Program (PAEF) provides relief to companies impacted by COVID19 economic by paying 40% of a minimum wage (equivalent to $ 90) for each worker (regardless of salary) of any company that has seen its income reduced by more than 20% due to the pandemic. The benefit will increase to 50% for employed women, which are the most affected by the loss of employment, and for companies in hard-hit sectors in hospitality. PAEF will also contribute with 50% of the payment of the end of year service premiums for employees who earn up to $258 in December 2020.
In the midst of the challenges that the pandemic has generated in the global economy, so far this year 23 companies and entities have awarded $ 2,500 million through public offerings of fixed income on the Colombian Stock Exchange (BVC). The market interest for securities and bonds of different types has been more than double the amount placed, since to date the amount demanded in the public offerings of fixed income amounts to $ 19.90 billion.
Gran Colombia Gold Corp said it produced 58,454 ounces of gold between July and September, an increase of 4% from the third quarter of 2019 and a 21% improvement over the second quarter of 2020 which had been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 national quarantine invoked in Colombia in late March. The Company said it is operating normally and remains on track with its annual guidance of a total of between 218,000 and 226,000 ounces of gold production in 2020.