Peru Posts Strong Economic Rebound in April

Peru’s economy posted a strong rebound in April, driven by improvements in the mining, fishing and manufacturing sectors.

The national statistics agency INEI said that Peru’s gross domestic product grew 4.25% in April versus the year-earlier month, its best rate in 13 months. In the first four months of this year, the economy has expanded 2.39%, business dailyGestion reported.

The highly-volatile fishing sector surged by growing 154% in April, due to the start of anchovy fishing following the end of a seasonal ban.

The mining and hydrocarbons sector increased 9.25% in April versus the year-earlier month, as the mining subsector grew 18%, the fastest rate since February 2008. The strong showing from mining was due to higher molybdenum, lead, copper, zinc and gold output. Iron and silver output declined in the month.

The manufacturing sector, which has faced several months of declines, grew by 6.1% in April, while the finance and insurance sector expanded 10.5%.

There were still a few weak spots in the economy. The construction sector continued contracting, declining 8.6% in April due to fewer public works investments. Agriculture fell 2.22% on weather issues as well as social conflicts in mining that affected agricultural production in the Tambo Valley, located in the southern Arequipa region.

Peru’s once-red hot economy slowed sharply last year on weaker demand for its main commodity exports and a decline in both public and private investments.

The government has been working to boost growth by reducing obstacles to investments, but the process has been moving slowly and is challenged by political fighting with opposition parties. On Friday, Congress refused to hear a request from the Premier for special legislative powers to support the economy.

Still, some private sector economists say that April’s strong showing could be the start of a recovery that will continue into the second half of this year.

Most economists expect growth of 3% to 4% in 2015, compared to 2.4% last year and 5.8% in 2013.