Economy in Colombia during 2020: the impact of the pandemic

Feb 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world and the way activities were carried out. The health, education and economy sectors suffered a strong impact that made it  necessary to take strong decisions to stabilize the economy and try to avoid a major crisis. According to the data collected in our COVID-19 Data and Innovation Centre, the behaviour of the economy in Colombia during 2020 was no exception, its impact was clear in different sectors of the economy.

According to the GDP, which measures the total market value gross, domestic goods and services produced product, the 5 economic activities that suffered the most in Colombia during 2020 were: 

  1. Accomodation and food services
  2. Construction of infrastructure
  3. Oil, natural extraction and supporting activities
  4. Public administration and defense
  5. Wholesale and retail trade

This behavior  started in the first semester of 2020, when the pandemic hit the world economy, and it was necessary to resort to mandatory isolation that led to a significant reduction in mass consumption by the population. According to the data collected, the curve continued to decline during the second half of 2020 in most of these sectors, with the exception of construction of infrastructure, and public administration and defense.

Pricing of basic products from the family basket during 2020

The prices of products such as rice and eggs have risen since April 2020, when the country started a strict quarantine. Although during the first months there was no restriction for food transportation, according to, prices increased both in large supermarket chains and in small businesses.

According to the data collected and presented on our Tableau National Terminals, this was the behavior in the price of some basic products.

Whole Milk Alpina 1LT$3,550 COP$3,731 COP
Eggs 15 units$5,983 COP$6,000 COP
Sunflower oil 1000cc$11,496 COP$12,364 COP
White sugar 1000gr$4,300 COP$4,650 COP

These five economic activities remained stable

While some sectors struggled to survive, others grew or remained stable during the crisis generated by the pandemic. These five sectors were:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Fishing and aquaculture
  3. Education market
  4. Metalliferous mineral extraction
  5. Real estate activities

According to the data collected and the information provided about the economy in Colombia during 2020, it is evident that the pandemic affected the behavior of the population, leading to  a decline in consumption, and an economic crisis in the country. Other sectors such as entertainment (cinemas, bookstores) and others such as restaurants, were strongly affected. 

The crisis is lingering and, although life is slowly going back to “normal”, the impact remains and it is necessary to implement data-driven solutions that stabilize the national and global economy.