The Peruvian economy "has experienced two distinct phases of economic development since the turn of the century. Between 2002 and 2013, Peru was one of the fastest-growing countries in Latin America, with an average GDP growth rate of 6.1 percent annually. A favorable external environment, prudent macroeconomic policies and structural reforms in different areas created a scenario of high growth and low inflation. The strong growth in employment and income sharply reduced poverty rates. The poverty rate (the percentage of the population living on US$ 5.5 a day) fell from 52.2% in 2005 to 26.1% in 2013. This is equivalent to 6.4 million people escaping poverty during that period. Extreme poverty (the population living on US$ 3.2 a day) declined from 30.9% to 11.4% in the same period" (World Bank 2020).
Peru continues to be one of Latin America’s best-performing economies, but growth has lost momentum in recent years, due to both domestic and external factors, according to the IMF’s latest annual economic assessment.
Even though economic activity is expected to pick up some steam in 2020—supported by improvements in exports and domestic demand—boosting long-term growth prospects will require narrowing the large infrastructure gaps in various ways and tackling social spending, as well as corruption, the IMF said in its report.
Here are six key takeaways from the latest report.
Economic performance: Peru has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, but last year growth weakened to 2.4 percent owing to a combination of external and domestic factors. On the external front, Peru saw reduced demand for its exports of primary products, with mining and fuel exports contracting during the year. Domestically, the execution of public investment projects was lower than planned in the budget, while weather-related factors hampered fishing production.
Tax system: There has been a renewed focus to raise revenues as the government aims to increase spending on infrastructure and social protection. Recent initiatives, such as the adoption of electronic invoicing for the filing of value-added taxes (VAT) and the introduction of some environmental and health-related excise taxes are important steps in that direction.
Infrastructure gaps: The government has launched the National Plan of Infrastructure for Competitiveness, which aims to tackle the country’s large infrastructure gaps. Peru’s infrastructure compares unfavorably with that of competitors, and investment is particularly needed in transportation, sanitation, health, telecommunications, and water.
Agro-exporting boom: Over the past two decades, Peru has experienced a boom in agricultural exports, led by seasonal exports to the northern hemisphere of high-value fresh fruits and vegetables (mostly grapes, avocados, blueberries, and asparagus). This boom has contributed to reducing poverty in rural areas, which declined from 80 percent in 2004 to 36 percent in 2018, and even more in some areas that saw larger expansion of agro-exports.
Tackling corruption: Over the past three years, the impact of the Lava Jato corruption investigation has been felt both at the political and the economic level—with the stalling of some large investment projects being perhaps the most salient economic example. In this context, the government has put fighting corruption at the top of its agenda and is moving forward with the implementation of a broad anti-corruption plan.
Social protection: Improving social protection is critical to further reduce poverty and support inclusive growth. In Peru, action is needed to address critical needs, including by reforming the pension system, providing more equitable distribution of natural resource revenues across regions, and deepening financial development and inclusion.
Source: International Monetary Fund.
GDP(PURCHASING POWER PARITY): $430.3 billion (2017 est.)
GDP COMPOSITION BY SECTOR: agriculture: 7.6%, industry: 32.7%, services: 59.9% (2017 est.)
GDP (PER CAPITA): 6,949.659 (2019 est.)
Main Imports and Exports
EXPORTS: copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, iron ore, molybdenum, silver; crude petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas; coffee, asparagus and other vegetables, fruit, apparel and textiles, fishmeal, fish, chemicals, fabricated metal products and machinery, alloys.
IMPORTS: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, plastics, machinery, vehicles, color TV sets, power shovels, front-end loaders, telephones and telecommunication equipment, iron and steel, wheat, corn, soybean products, paper, cotton, vaccines and medicines.
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