Peru: Trade balance rebounds to modest surplus in February
April 8, 2014
In February, the trade balance registered a surplus of USD 58 million, which was greater than the USD 19 million surplus observed in the same month last year. February's result contrasted the all-time record deficit of USD 679 million observed in January. In the 12 months up to February, the trade balance posted a USD 677 million deficit.
Exports contracted 5.8% over the same month of the last year (January: -14.4% year-on-year). Imports contracted 7.1% in February, which followed January's 3.9% drop.
A downward trend in the trade balance has been registered in the last two years, as low international prices for traditional Peruvian exports such as copper and natural gas more than offset the higher volumes exported. Similarly, the increase in import volumes has also been negatively affecting the trade balance, despite lower international prices.
The Central Bank expects exports to grow 3.2% in 2014. For 2015, the Bank sees overseas sales expanding a healthier 12.3%. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists see exports expanding 7.6% this year, which is up 0.2 percentage points from previous month's estimate. For 2015, the panel sees overseas sales expanding 9.2%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist