Peru: Trade deficit widens in May
July 12, 2013
In May, the trade balance recorded a USD 465 million deficit, which contrasted the USD 65 million surplus observed in the same month last year and was larger than the revised USD 433 million shortfall seen in the previous month (previously reported: USD 452 million deficit). The reading represents the fourth deficit in the last five months. As a result, in the 12 months up to May, the trade balance posted a USD 1.2 billion surplus, which came in well below the USD 1.7 billion tallied in the 12 months up to April and represents the lowest level since January 2004.
The larger trade deficit in May reflects a 9.0% annual plunge in exports, which was below the revised 2.1% decrease registered in April (previously reported: -3.2% year-on-year). Meanwhile, imports increased 5.7% in May, which was weaker that the revised 10.1% expansion observed in April (previously reported: +9.6% yoy). The 12-month sum of exports up to May fell 7.6% in annual terms (April: -7.8% yoy), whereas in the same period, imports grew 9.3% (April: +9.6% yoy).
Amid lower commodity prices and slower global demand, the Central Bank revised its export forecasts and now expects overseas sales to decline 3.5% this year, which contrasts the 3.2% expansion previously estimated. For 2014, the Bank sees exports growing 7.8% in 2014 (initially estimated: +10.3% yoy). LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists see exports growing 5.1% this year, before accelerating to 8.9% in 2014.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist