Peru sees solid economic growth amid global crisis

(Recasts, adds context)

LIMA, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Peru’s booming economy is expected to post its fastest annual growth rate since 1994 for 2008, though the global financial crisis should slow expansion this year, the central bank said on Friday.

Peru, which has the fastest-growing economy is Latin America, is forecast to have grown 9.1 percent last year, up from 8.9 percent in 2007, the bank said.

For 2009, the bank predicted growth to close at 6.0 percent as the global crisis pounds prices for Peru’s metals exports.

Also on Friday, the bank said it sees the country’s trade surplus for 2008 closing at $3.1 billion, versus a $8.36 billion surplus in 2007. Strong domestic demand is fueling a surge in imports.

For the first 11 months of 2008, Peru posted a trade surplus of $2.93 billion. (Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Dana Ford, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)