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Copper giant Peru's economy contracted 11.7% in July

09/15/2020 | 01:08pm

LIMA, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Peru's economy shrank 11.71% in July versus the same month a year earlier, the Andean country's government said on Tuesday, the fifth straight month of contraction due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, though shallower than previous months.

July's drop was slightly better than a 12.2% contraction forecast by analysts and improved from an 18% fall in June, a 32.7% drop in May and a historic decline of 40.5% in April, when mining activity stalled for the world's No. 2 copper producer.

The INEI statistics bureau said the mining and hydrocarbons sector contracted 6.22% in July, better than the 14.44% drop in June, amid lower production of gold, silver, lead, iron and copper. Mining represents 60% of Peru's total exports.

The bureau also said the unemployment rate in Lima, an important indicator, increased in the rolling June-August three-month period to 15.6% of the working age population, almost triple the level a year earlier.

Peru imposed a quarantine in mid-March to curb the pandemic. But since May it has started to lift restrictions to reactivate the economy, which the central bank estimates will contract 12.5% in 2020, the biggest drop in 30 years.

The country has 733,860 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the fifth- highest in the world, with 30,812 fatalities. It has the worst per capita fatality rate in the world, a Reuters tally shows. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Dan Grebler)

© Thomson Reuters 2020
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