February 15, 2017 / 4:47 PM / 10 months ago

Colombian consumer confidence hits lowest level on record

BOGOTA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Colombia fell in January to its lowest-ever level, as the South American nation grappled with rising inflation, higher value-added taxes and sluggish economic growth, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The consumer confidence index was -30.2 percent last month, compared to -10.7 percent in December and 21.3 percent in January 2016, the poll conducted by private survey firm Fedesarrollo said.

Last month’s confidence reading was the lowest since the survey began in November 2001, Fedesarrollo said. It added that confidence had deteriorated across the socio-economic spectrum.

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 this year and create 765,000 jobs.

Inflation has been above the central bank’s 2 percent to 4 percent target range for well over a year. Consumer prices rose 5.47 percent in February on a year-on-year basis. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Helen Murphy and Paul Simao)

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