Take physic, pomp

Financial crisis quiztime: What’s the difference between Colombia and Peru?

Answer: Both countries are in recession but only one of them has a decent, well-run and reliable statistics office.

Colombia’s official statisticians hang out at a place called DANE and it’s one of the three stats offices on this continent that are always good to take at face value (the other two are Chile and Brazil, by the way). Other stats offices are either too small to worry about (e.g. Bolivia), push the window sometimes without really lying (e.g. Venezuela) or are just plain liars (e.g. Argentina, Peru). Here’s Reuters in Spanish this morning on Colombia’s ministerial admission that recession has arrived. I couldn’t find any English language links yet so the first paragraph is translated.

UPDATE1 Colombia Economy may have entered into Recession

Bogota, June 3 (Reuters) The Colombian economy may well have entered into recession with a drop in GDP of 0.7% in the first quarter, a similar figure to that registered in the last quarter of 2008, Minister of Finance Oscar Iván Zuluaga admitted Wednesday.

continues here (Spanish language)

If it weren’t for the integrity of DANE, Zuluaga would not be out there admitting recession, be in no doubt. If he could get away with the deception and lies of Twobreakfasts he’d do it like a shot, especially when you consider what he said just six months ago:

Nov 23rd 2008: Neither recession nor financial crisis in Colombia, said the Ministry of Finance, Oscar Iván Zuluaga in an economical forum in Cartagena de Indias last week. The Minister, cited by Portafolio, the Colombian magazine on economics, said that the national economic is preserved from the global financial crisis due to a better domestic fiscal scenario, and that Colombia is the second Latin American nation with biggest private investment related to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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