Peru economy to grow 5.6 pct in Q4 -cenbank chief

Reuters

SANTIAGO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Peru's economy is set to grow5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than previouslyforecast but picking up from the prior period, central bankpresident Julio Velarde said on Monday during a visit toneighboring Chile.

The central bank had estimated in October that the economywould likely expand between 6.2 percent and 6.3 percent in thelast three months of 2013.

Still, 5.6 percent growth would mark an increase from thethird quarter's 4.4 percent, the slowest quarterly pace in fouryears compared with the same period a year ago.

"That's due in part to an improved mood (in terms ofinvestment) as well as an improvement in the primary sector,"Velarde told reporters during an event in Santiago.

As a top global exporter of copper, gold and silver, Peruhas taken a hit from weaker mineral prices and softer demandfrom China.

Growth has eased from the red-hot levels clocked last year,when the economy expanded 6.3 percent.

The economy will grow between 5.1 percent and 5.2 percentthis year, Velarde said, before gathering speed to average 6.3percent between 2014 and 2016.

The bank surprised the market last month by cutting thebenchmark interest rate for the first time in morethan four years to stimulate the economy.

But growth in the Andean country is still set to top many ofits peers'.

Regional powerhouse Brazil's economy contracted in the thirdquarter for the first time since early 2009, for instance.

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