Peru Economy Probably Grew Fastest in Five Years, Survey Finds


2003-02-13 11:05 (New York)

Lima, Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — Peru’s economy probably expanded
in 2002 at the fastest pace in five years, boosted by the first
full year of production from a copper and zinc mine, and is likely
to expand at a slower pace this year, analysts said.
Peru’s gross domestic product grew 4.8 percent last year,
based on the median estimate of nine analysts polled by Bloomberg
News. The National Statistics Institute will release December and
2002 figures tomorrow. Growth will slow to 3.7 percent this year,
the analysts said.
The Cia. Minera Antamina SA mine helped the economy recover
from 0.2 percent growth in 2001. The country must now expand labor-
intensive industries such as manufacturing, construction and
commerce, to maintain the expansion, officials have said. A growth
rate of 7 percent would be needed to reduce poverty that affects
half of Peru’s 27 million people.
“The Antamina mine fueled growth in the first half while
construction and manufacturing were behind second-half growth,”
said Jorge Rodriguez, analyst at Centura SAB. This year, Antamina
won’t exceed last year’s output level, said Juan Odar, analyst
from Banco de Credito del Peru.
The analysts’ estimate of 2002 growth matched a December
estimate by the Economy and Finance Ministry and would be the
biggest increase in gross domestic product since 1997’s 6.7
percent rise. The ministry forecasts 4 percent growth this year.
The country’s economy probably expanded at a 5.2 percent rate
in the fourth quarter, according to the median estimate of seven
analysts.
The statistics institute stopped releasing quarterly GDP
figures in the second quarter of 2002 and won’t provide any
estimate for either the third or fourth quarter of last year, said
Farid Matuk, the head of the institute. The institute will release
first quarter GDP figures in the second half of the year.
Matuk said the institute opted not to publish quarterly GDP
figure because it is implementing improvements in its methods of
measuring growth. The institute needs the time to ready quarterly
GDP figures “in accordance to international standards,” Matuk
said.
Australia’s BHP Billiton and Canada’s Noranda Inc. each own
33.75 percent of the Antamina mine. Canada’s Teck Cominco Ltd.
owns about 22.5 percent and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. owns 10
percent.

Analysts gave the following estimates:
*T
Dic. 2002 4th qtr 2003
(%) (%) (%) (%)

Banco de Credito 5.0 4.7 5.1 3.0 Centura
SAB 5.9 4.7 5.5 3.8
Salomon Smith Barney 5.5 4.8 5.0 5.0
Maximixe 5.5 4.9 5.3 4.1
Ideaglobal 5.0 4.2 5.3 3.5
Chamber of Commerce 5.7 4.6 n/a 3.9
Banco Wiese Sudameris 5.7 4.9 5.2 3.5
IPE 6.0 4.9 n/a 3.7
Santander Cen. Hispano 5.1 4.8 5.2 3.2
————————————————————Median
Average 5.5 4.8 5.2 3.7
Mean Average 5.5 4.7 5.2 3.7

–Inti Landauro (511) 222-6262, or ilandauro@bloomberg.net, and
Renzo Pipoli in Lima through the New York newsroom (212) 318-2730.
Editor: Kleege.

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