LIMA Aug 27 Peru will likely post a $1 billion
trade deficit this year and an $800 million trade gap in 2014 -
the first time since 2001 that imports will overtake exports in
the Andean country, the central bank said on Tuesday.
In June, the central bank forecast a $485 million trade
surplus for this year, but the country's mineral exports have
slumped more than expected on weak global growth, the central
bank said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Shipments of minerals like copper, gold and silver make up
about 60 percent of export earnings. In 2012, Peru registered a
$4.5 billion trade surplus - half the size of the surplus in
The central bank also cut its view of 2013 economic growth
to between 5.5 percent and 6 percent from its earlier estimate
of 6.1 percent.
That is roughly in line with the 5.7 percent pace the
government now expects for this year, instead of the 6.3 percent
expansion it predicted earlier.
Last year, the economy expanded by 6.3 percent, one of the
fastest paces in the region.
Analysts consider Peru's potential growth rate, the fastest
the economy can expand without stoking too much inflation, to be
around 6 to 6.5 percent.
Peru's economy in the 12 months through June expanded 5.69
percent - less than expected because of slumping exports and
somewhat weaker domestic demand.
"Smaller volume of net exports is the main factor of this
slowdown," said Central Bank President Julio Velarde in the
The slightly weaker economy this year has prompted President
Ollanta Humala to vow to ease bureaucratic hurdles to investing.
Peru should post a trade surplus again in 2015, the central
bank said, and the economy will probably rebound in 2014 to
expand at a 6.4 percent clip on average over three years.
The central bank also said that Peru this year will probably
post a current account deficit that equals 4.9 percent of gross
domestic product - slightly wider than the 4.4 percent gap it