Peru: Exports continue to grow at vigorous pace
March 22, 2011
In January, exports expanded 20.2% over the same month the year before to reach USD 2.9 billion. The expansion was below the 24.1% increase observed in December and represented the slowest pace since May 2010. Despite the slowdown, the January expansion marked the 16th consecutive month of double-digit growth in exports. The January reading mainly reflected weaker growth in shipments of mineral products, in particular gold, copper and zinc, which account for a sizable share of the country's exports. In contrast, stronger exports of iron and steel products as well as of agricultural products helped to cushion the slowdown. Meanwhile, imports expanded 30.9% in January to reach USD 2.7 billion, which was slightly below the 33.9% annual increase observed in December. As a result, the trade balance surplus shrunk from USD 1.0 billion in December to USD 0.2 billion in January. In January, the moving three-month sum in exports reached USD 10.0 billion, which was a notch below the peak of USD 10.2 billion observed in December 2010 but well above the USD 5.4 billion trough recorded in March 2009. In its March inflation report, the Central Bank revised its export growth projections and now anticipates exports to expand 17.3% this year, well above its previous 9.2% estimate. For 2012, however, monetary authorities expect exports to expand 8.4%, which is down from its previous 9.3% projection.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist