Peru launches economic package amid concerns over slowing growth

Peru’s Economy Ministry announced on Thursday a package of measures that it says can help boost activity in the country at a time of global slowdown and falling copper prices , which are key to the local economy.

The sector minister, Kurt Burneo, stated that the plan includes measures to accelerate public investment and private spending, which will have an impact of 0.6 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product this year and 0.8 points in 2023.

In a presentation of the plan to the press, Burneo reported that other measures include the extension or creation of subsidies in some public services, such as transportation rates, to relieve the vulnerable population.

The announcement comes just weeks after Burneo himself announced economic growth projections that beat analyst consensus. The ministry expects GDP growth of 3.3% this year, while analysts polled by Refinitiv forecast 2.6%.

The cost of the incentive package, much of which has yet to be approved by the opposition-dominated Congress, amounts to 3 billion soles (about $775.2 million), Burneo told reporters. The package includes incentives for private investors, including in mineral exploration, as well as increased public spending.

Likewise, temporary employment programs for young people, food vouchers for the poorest, and exemptions from the sales tax on food from the basic family basket.

Peru is the second largest producer of copper in the world and the fall in prices of the red metal is affecting the fiscal coffers after record revenues in 2021.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo took office last year on a far-left platform that spooked investors and sent the local currency, the sol, to record lows.

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But he has since softened his stance and elected moderates to the finance ministry in a bid to maintain investor confidence.

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