Peru’s economy finished last year posting a stronger-than-expected growth of 3.26 percent thanks to a surge in activity in December.
The national statistics agency, known as INEI, said that Peru’s economy increased 6.4 percent in December, the fastest monthly rate of growth since 2013.
The increase was driven by the mining and hydrocarbons sector, which represents about 15 percent of the weight of Peru’s GDP. The sector rose 22.4 percent in December, its strongest rate of growth since 2002. The boost was the result of higher copper production, which rose 68 percent during the month compared to the same period last year, as new mines come online.
Other sectors that posted strong growth include the fishing sector, which expanded 82.5 percent in December thanks to an increase in anchovy catches. Manufacturing and retail activity also increased in the last month of 2015, the INEI said.
Finance Minister Alonso Segura said that Peru’s economy would continue to post robust growth in the coming months. Segura told RPP Noticias on Monday that the economy would likely expand 4 percent in the first quarter of this year, which is strong compared to many Latin American nations that are struggling with lower commodity prices.
“While it is true that the number [in December] is influenced by the resource sectors, we also see a recovery that we hope is sustainable, in non-resource factors,” Segura said. “The growth that we hope for in the first quarter [of 2016] is 4 percent.”