Archive for employment

20090324 – Hunger intensifies despite economic growth in Peru

Posted in 3 Cables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by Farid Matuk

32 percent of Peruvians get inadequate food

Slower economic growth likely to push up hunger rates

By Dana Ford

LIMA, March 24 (Reuters) – More Peruvians went hungry last year despite blazing economic growth, a sign that President Alan Garcia is stumbling in efforts to direct benefits of an impressive expansion to the poor.

The percentage of people in Peru with inadequate nutrition rose by more than 11 percent in 2008, faster than the economy’s 9.8 percent surge, according to the national statistics agency.

Now, 32 percent of Peruvians do not get enough to eat.

The results suggest the poor did not make gains during Peru’s economic boom last year. They also explain in part why the government is so unpopular in rural areas, where hunger rates are highest and leftist politicians like Ollanta Humala, who plans to run for office in 2011, draw support.

“The benefits of the economic boom have not been distributed equally,” said Federico Arnillas, president of a network of civic groups that works on poverty issues with the health and finance ministries.

Garcia, who embraced mainstream economic policies after his first term in the 1980s ended in runaway inflation that made adequate food too costly for millions of people, has said he wants to reduce poverty to 30 percent by the time he leaves office.

When he was re-elected in 2006, Garcia fervently pushed investment and free trade and his recipe to lift incomes seemed to work. Prices for Peru’s metal exports surged and domestic demand rose, contributing to rapid economic growth.

The national poverty rate fell 5 percent in 2007 to 39 percent, a year when inflation was low and public spending on food programs was relatively high.

But in 2008, hunger crept up, as inflation spiked on a global run up in food prices and aid spending fell. Peru’s poverty rate for last year is not yet available, but experts say the government may have lost ground. That could hurt Garcia’s approval rating, now at 34 percent.

“The numbers tell us there is a percentage of the population that is, quite literally, dying of hunger,” said Farid Matuk, a former director of the national statistics agency and a government critic.

In rural areas, where Garcia’s support is weak, the number of people not eating enough rose to 42.5 percent in 2008.

Arnillas said the increase stems from political decisions and pointed to cuts in social spending.

“It’s not a simple resource problem. It’s a political one,” he said of hunger in Peru.


Advocates say slower economic growth this year will likely push hunger rates higher and are urging the government to adopt policies that prioritize food security.

Peru’s government is rolling out a $3 billion stimulus package meant to maintain investment and employment levels and increase public work projects. The plan, which aims for economic growth of at least 5 percent, also includes agricultural incentives to boost local food production.

Matuk, the former statistics agency head, said the government is too focused on high macroeconomic growth figures and should have paid more attention to the poor before the global economy entered a crisis.

Arnillas said Peru needs a bigger safety net as private economists forecast growth of less than 1 percent this year.

“We are worried the poor will wind up paying the cost of the crisis,” he said. “This is what happened in the past and we are working to make sure it does not happen again.” (Editing by Terry Wade and Vicki Allen)


20090317 – Peru economy slows, growing by 3.1 pct in January

Posted in 3 Cables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2009 by Farid Matuk

Peru’s boom sputtering? Economic growth slows to 3.1 pct in January
Associated Press Writer

LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Peru posted its lowest economic growth rate in years on Monday, saying it expanded by just 3.1 percent year-to-year in January amid signs that a three-year economic boom fueled by soaring metals prices could be sputtering.

The Andean nation’s economy grew by 9.8 percent last year, faster than China’s, but has slowed as the global financial crisis drives down prices and demand for its main mineral exports.

Peru’s statistics institute reported Monday that the economy grew by 3.1 percent in January over the same period a year earlier, the lowest monthly rate of President Alan Garcia’s term, which began in 2006.

 The report said exports fell 38.6 percent in January over the same period the year before.

The government is projecting 5 percent growth in 2009, which would be one of the highest in the world amid the global downturn. But analysts are already questioning the figure.

The government is implementing a $3 billion anti-crisis package aimed at infrastructure and public works to combat the effects of falling export prices.

The former head of the statistics institute, Farid Matuk, says the formal growth figure only represents reality for Peru’s upper crust. Despite soaring commodity prices that prompted growth rates of 8 percent in 2006, 8.9 percent in 2007 and 9.8 percent in 2008, job growth in Peru as a whole was stagnant, Matuk said.

Monday’s report said that overall employment from December 2008 through February 2009 fell by 0.7 percent in metropolitan Lima compared to the same period the year before, although it said that formal sector employment grew by 5.1 percent.

Matuk said statistics institute figures show that the number of employed Peruvians in metropolitan Lima who lack a college education has actually fallen by 3 percent since February 2007.

“In the past two years there have not been substantial improvements in household living standards and employment is basically stagnant because growth has been based on raw materials” like mining and other non-labor intensive industries, Matuk told the Associated Press.

Mon Jun 9, 2003 7:02 am

Posted in 2003-06 Junio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2009 by Farid Matuk

Ley de Okun

Hace varios dias que no aparece la teoría del 6%-7% de
crecimiento para emplear el crecimiento vegetativo de la PEA. Pero
si se publicó recientemente en un diario local un estimado de la Ley
de Okun para Perú de 2.34%

Esto quiere decir que para mantener la tasa de desempleo natural,
en caso este exista, basta crecer al 2.34% hasta donde recuerdo la
Ley de Okun. Y los desvios sobre esta tasa incrementan o reducen la
tasa de desempleo.

Si esta medición es cierta, tenemos que no es necesario el 6%-7%
de crecimiento para mantener el status quo, sino bastaría un poco
mas de 2%.

Creo que junto a la discusión previa sobre el ICOR, aquí tenemos
una veta nueva para complementar una suerte de modelo macro basado
en pocas reglas genéricas pero que permitirían hacer simulaciones
menos sensibles a parametros estimados, y menos discrecionales que
las délficas.

Farid Matuk

Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:47 pm

Posted in 2003-04 Abril with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2009 by Farid Matuk

Golden Path

“(Elmer) Cuba señala que se requiere lograr tasas de crecimiento de
5% en los próximos diez años para generar trabajo”

Hola Elmer:

Disculpa el atrazo en comentar tu entrevista pero me parecio
sugestiva la discusión del crecimiento en vez de otras
cortoplacistas que he comentado previamente.

Detras de tu afirmación me imagino un Harrod-Domar, en donde
asumes salarios reales crecientes (¿o me equivoco?) y por ello el
5%, sino bastaría una tasa igual a la del crecimiento de la
población y un Gini constante.

El Instituto ha publicado hoy, por primera vez, series de masa
salarial tomadas de muestras de 19,200 hogares en Lima; por ello
creo que los números son sólidos. Queda abierta la pregunta para
provincia, pero unos resultados del PEEL con diferente metodología
muestran que los salarios medios de Lima crecen menos que los de

Si seguimos con un Harrod-Domar, mi pregunta central es que la
tasa del 5%, que implica salarios reales crecientes, nos debiera
conducir a un nuevo Gini en diez años. No recuerdo haber visto
trabajos que coloquen una meta de crecimiento en función de una
variación del Gini, aunque un trabajo reciente de PNUD donde trabajo
Jaime Saavedra con datos del 2000 tiene ese sabor.

Un abrazo, Farid