Peru had 2011 fiscal surplus, president's popularity up

Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:18am EST

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* President Humala's poll numbers see sharp recovery

* Last year's fiscal surplus 1.8 pct, trade surplus widened

LIMA Feb 26 (Reuters) - Peru had a 2011 fiscal surplus after two years of deficits, the central bank said over the weekend while a new poll showed President Ollanta Humala's popularity on the rise.

Last year's surplus, driven by healthy mining export revenue, amounted to 1.8 percent of gross domestic product after the South American country registered a 0.3 percent deficit in 2010 and a 1.3 percent deficit in 2009.

Peru ran a current account deficit of 1.3 percent last year, a bit tighter than the 1.7 deficit registered in 2010, the central bank said. The country's trade surplus widened to $9.30 billion in 2011 versus $6.75 billion in 2010.

An opinion poll conducted by Ipsos Apoyo and published on Sunday by El Comercio newspaper said Humala's popularity had risen to 59 percent from 54 percent in January and an all-time low 47 percent in December.

The poll was taken on Feb. 22-24, days after Peru captured the leader of the leftist Shining Path insurgency. The arrest gave Humala his first big victory against what remains of the rebel group.

Humala took office in July, vowing to ensure that Peru's poor share in the benefits of the country's booming economy.

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