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LIMA Dec 7 Peru will spend up to $13.2 billion
next year on housing, highways and other projects, to maintain
economic growth amid a global slowdown, President Alan Garcia
said on Sunday.
Garcia said Economy and Finance Minister Luis Valdivieso
would unveil further details of the economic stimulus package
"The plan is to increase (government) spending by 10
billion sols ($3.2 billion), to seek to finalize $3 billion in
previously signed loans and to take on another $7 billion in
loans if the thing gets really atrocious," Garcia said in an
interview on Panamericana television.
Peru is already feeling the effects of the worldwide
economic crunch, as tumbling prices for copper and other
minerals meant the value of its exports fell in October for the
first time in more than six years and down 11.4 percent from
the same month last year.
In September Peru registered a trade deficit for the first
time in more than five years, followed by a $506 million
shortfall in October.
"We don't govern the world, it's governed by the United
States and China. And if things are going to be worse for them
we need to take measures," Garcia said.
He said the government would invest in public works,
housing and highways, and social programs but did not say where
the funds would come from.
Economists have said the South American country will post a
fiscal deficit next year if it boosts spending. The forecast
this year is for a fiscal surplus of 2.7 percent of gross
domestic product and the government has already cut its outlook
for 2009 to a fiscal surplus of 1 percent.
Peru's economy is expected to expand this year by at least
9 percent, similar growth to last year's but the government
expects growth to slow to 6.5 percent next year.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Translating by Fiona Ortiz;
Editing by Kazunori Takada)