President Ollanta Humala has backed away from comments that the international crisis has hit Peru, saying that the Andean country has a solid economy that will continue to grow, although it is unclear by how much.
Humala said last week that the economic crisis that has rocked many countries around the globe in the past few years has finally hit Peru, whose robust growth has begun to weaken.
“I haven’t lied. It is good that [the people] know, because it is a right of the people to know that truth and to have hope,” Humala said, according to daily La Republica.
“We have a solid economy that creates the confidence and hope that we are going to move forward,” he said. “The discussion in Peru is not if we are going to grow or not going to grow, but rather how much we are going to grow.”
Humala’s comments come a few days after Peru posted another disappointing month of growth. The economy expanded 4.4 percent in June, far below expectations from private and government economists.
Peru’s economy has been impacted by weaker growth from China that has hurt metal prices.
Humala’s comments last week that the global crisis has reached Peru resulted in criticism from political opponents.
Keiko Fujimori, the former congresswoman who lost to Humala in the 2011 presidential election, called the president’s comments irresponsible.
“Mr. Humala, to declare irresponsibly that the crisis has reached Peru can create more uncertainty and hurt even more our economy,” she said. “It could make you the main promoter of the crisis,” she added.
Former President Alejandro Toledo, who has been an ally of Humala, said that the decline in growth is due to domestic and foreign factors.
“We are a primarily exporting economy and a reduction in the price of minerals in the world directly impacts our fiscal income,” Toledo said. He added that the government has failed to respond to the slowdown due to “weak management capacity.”