Copper price drop 'worrisome' for Peru growth -finance minister

martes 10 de febrero de 2015 16:46 GYT
 

LIMA Feb 10 (Reuters) - Peru's economy will be hit by a "worrisome" drop in the price of copper but should still expand by more than 4 percent this year, Finance Minister Alonso Segura said on Tuesday.

The official growth target for 2015 is 4.8 percent, double last year's estimated expansion of 2.4 percent.

The government and central bank have said an expected rise in copper production will help lead a rebound this year.

The copper slump complicates those forecasts, Segura said. The red metal has lost 11 percent of its value this year after a 14 percent drop in 2014.

"Yes, it is worrisome that there is a decrease like this," Segura told reporters on the sidelines of an event. "But we are confident Peru will grow above 4 percent this year."

Peru, the world's third biggest copper producer, relies on shipments of the red metal for about 20 percent of its exports.

Segura, who has introduced tax cuts and measures to reduce red tape in recent months, said slower growth rates across Latin America must be countered with deeper reforms. (Reporting By Teresa Cespedes, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Peter Galloway)