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Peru cenbank sees lower 2023 growth, drop in mining investment due to protests

Kitco News

LIMA, March 24 (Reuters) - The Central Reserve Bank of Peru forecast lower economic growth this year due to the impacts of months-long social unrest and torrential rains in March, with the bank's chief saying he expected "zero percent" growth in the first quarter.

A central bank report published on Friday lowered the economic growth projection for 2023 to 2.6% from 2.9% previously.

Peru's economy contracted in January as nationwide protests left dozens of people dead, upended the movement of people and goods, and hurt commerce.

The unrest impacted business and consumer confidence, said the bank, which sees private investment in the country's critical mining sector falling 16.7% in 2023.

Peru's national government announced it would spend billions to revive the economy. The central bank says the government's investment will exceed the fall in investment by local governments and public companies.

Central bank president Julio Velarde said he expects annual inflation to ease to a rate of 3.0% by December, within the bank's target range.

The central bank also maintained its estimate for a fiscal deficit of 1.6% of gross domestic product in 2023.

Reporting by Brendan O'Boyle and Marco Aquino; Editing by Sarah Morland
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