UPDATE 1-Peru says economy likely to grow by 4.2 pct in 2015
(New throughout, adds reaction from finance ministry)
LIMA, March 11 (Reuters) - Peru's commodities-powered economy will likely grow at 4.2 percent in 2015, the economy ministry said on Wednesday, a rate that is slower than previously forecast.
The economy ministry confirmed the new working forecast a day after the newspaper El Comercio reported that Fernando Figueroa, the government's director of macroeconomic forecasts, gave the new forecast at an event at the Peruvian-Nordic Chamber of Commerce.
A spokeswoman at the ministry who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to talk publicly about the issue confirmed Figueroa said: "We're working with a number of 4.2 percent for 2015."
In late January, the government projected growth of 4.8 percent. The ministry will release a new official forecast in coming weeks, the spokeswoman said.
The government and central bank have revised down their growth forecasts several times over the past year as the economy has slowed sharply to its weakest pace since 2009.
Gross domestic product rose 2.35 percent in 2014 as mining activity slumped on weak mineral prices and private investment fell.
The average annual growth rate was 6.4 percent during the previous decade.
Private analysts polled by the central bank expect a 3.9 percent expansion this year. (Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Peter Galloway and David Gregorio)
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