February 15, 2017 / 12:00 AM / 6 months ago

Colombian president promises higher growth in final economic plan

BOGOTA, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday launched the final economic plan of his term in office, which the government hopes will ensure gross domestic product growth of 2.5 percent and create 765,000 jobs.

The government has said that a tax reform passed late last year and a peace process with the Marxist FARC rebels would help stoke growth in Latin America's fourth-largest economy, despite higher inflation that has consumers grumbling.

The plan, called 'Colombia Recovers', includes a 6.2 trillion pesos ($2.15 billion) spending budget increase this year, funded by higher taxes approved in the reform and oil and gas royalties that previously went to savings, Santos said at an event held to introduce the program.

"We think the conditions are right to give the economy a push because none of the growth predictions satisfy us, we think we can grow more," Santos said, adding that the plan would contribute 1.3 percent in gross domestic product expansion.

Santos' second term ends in August 2018.

Investments under the plan would include construction of 3,000 kilometers of rural roads, schools and 100,000 homes, among other projects, many of which were already in the original budget for the year.

$1 = 2,875.46 Colombian pesos Reporting by Carlos Vargas and Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Helen Murphy

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