Peru says GDP grew 6.5 pct in 3rd quarter

LIMA Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:05pm EST

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LIMA Nov 23 (Reuters) - Peru's economy grew 6.5 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year ago, official data showed on Friday, with the Andean country on track to post the strongest growth in South America this year.

The latest data from Peru's statistics agency were in line with previously released monthly growth figures and showed strong domestic demand offsetting weaker exports in July through September of this year.

While domestic demand expanded 10 percent and helped imports rise 13.7 percent, exports from the major minerals producer fell 1.2 percent in the third quarter, on the heels of a 1.4 percent decline in the second quarter.

Growth for all of 2012 is widely expected to be about 6 percent, as the economy grows near its potential despite slumping prices for Peru's mineral exports.

The report said the economy expanded 6.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2012.

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