Peru Growth Accelerates on Construction and Manufacturing

Peru’s economic growth accelerated in the second quarter from the slowest pace in three years in the previous three months as construction picked up and manufacturing rebounded.

Gross domestic product rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier, the statistics agency said in an e-mailed statement, in line with the median forecast of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey and up from a revised 4.6 percent in the first quarter. The agency had originally calculated growth in the first three months of the year at 4.8 percent.

Slowing growth in China has curbed demand for Peru’s exports and damped investor confidence in the world’s third-biggest copper producer this year. The central bank cut reserve requirements last month to boost lending, while the government plans to award $8.7 billion in infrastructure contracts by year-end to shore up private investment.

“Investment in the public sector will help to compensate for the slowdown in investment in the private sector,” said Luka Barbosa, an economist at Itau Unibanco, by phone from Sao Paulo. “We’ll see a slight acceleration in growth at the margins in the second half.”

Peru’s construction industry expanded 15 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while retail rose 6.4 percent and manufacturing climbed 3.1 percent, the agency said. Fixed asset investment expanded 8.6 percent, compared with 6.6 percent in the first quarter.

GDP rose 1.1 percent from the first quarter on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

The Andean nation’s exports fell 12 percent in the first half of 2013 from a year earlier, creating a $847 million trade deficit, according to the central bank.

Itau projects GDP growth of 5.4 percent this year and 5.2 percent next year, Barbosa said. Last year’s 6.3 percent expansion was the fastest in South America.

Peru’s sol was unchanged at 2.8120 per U.S. dollar at today’s close. The currency fell to a three-year low of 2.84 on Aug. 19, leading the central bank to step up sales of greenbacks to support the local currency.

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