LIMA Dec 14 Peru will finish 2012 and 2013 with
bigger trade surpluses than previously expected, the central
bank said on Friday, a sign that the global minerals producer
can withstand economic uncertainty abroad.
The central bank raised its view of Peru's 2012 trade
balance to $4.4 billion, up from $3.5 billion in November but
down from its estimate of $6.7 billion early this year.
Next year the Andean nation will likely post a $4 billion
surplus, the central bank said in its quarterly inflation
report, raising its earlier forecast of $2.8 billion.
Peru is a top exporter of gold, silver, copper and zinc. But
its mineral sales have wavered on lower prices amid the global
Strong domestic demand has helped offset slumping exports.
A booming construction sector helped Peru's economy expand
6.71 percent in October over the same month a year ago, the
government statistics agency said on Friday.
"That's impressive growth and more than what we expected,"
Central Bank President Julio Velarde said. "It appears to be
growth near potential."
Peru's potential growth rate, the maximum rate the economy
can expand without provoking excessive inflation, is normally
seen around 6 percent or 6.5 percent.
The central bank expects Peru's economy to grow 6.3 percent
in all of 2012, and 6.2 percent in 2013 - one of the
fastest-paced expansions in the region.