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Peru’s Fourth Quarter GDP Rises at Slowest Pace in a Year

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Peru’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in a year during the fourth quarter as construction activity decelerated and import growth eased.

Gross domestic product rose 5.9 percent from the same period a year earlier compared with a revised 6.8 percent increase in the third quarter, the national statistics agency said in an e-mailed report today. The median estimate of 11 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for a 6.3 percent rise.

Construction output expanded an annual 12.5 percent in the three months ending Dec. 31, after a 19.3 percent increase in the third quarter, the agency said. The central bank left its overnight rate unchanged for a 21st month at its Feb. 7 meeting, saying the annual inflation rate will fall to 2 percent this year, the mid-point of its target range, amid stable economic growth.

The sol gained 0.3 percent to at 2.5803 per U.S. dollar at today’s close, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.

Manufacturing growth moderated in the fourth quarter while mining and fishing output contracted, the agency said. Imports rose 13 percent while exports climbed 2.4 percent.

Investment in housing, malls and transport infrastructure and a consumer boom have shielded Peru’s $200 billion economy from a slowdown in exports.

Stronger global growth will boost demand for Peru’s copper, spurring economic growth of at least 6.3 percent this year, Finance Minister Miguel Castilla said Feb. 18.

GDP increased 6.3 percent last year, after a 6.9 percent rise in 2011, the agency said.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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