(Adds preliminary growth data for April, additional comments from minister)
LIMA, June 2 (Reuters) - Peru’s finance minister said on Tuesday that the economy is recovering from a sharp slowdown over the past year and likely grew by around 4 percent in April from the same month a year earlier.
In March, growth had picked up to 2.68 percent year-on-year, the first sign of a rebound in Peru’s mining-fueled economy in months.
“The economy is already in a stage of recovery,” Finance Minister Alonso Segura said on local broadcaster RPP. “In March it grew 2.7 percent and in April it is expected...that it is closer to 4 percent, or higher.”
Peru’s economy grew 2.35 percent last year as its key mineral exports tumbled and investments fell. In previous years, the economy expanded by more than 5 percent.
April’s growth rate is scheduled for release mid-May.
Preliminary data showed that mining activity rose 18 percent in April from a year ago on surging mineral production. Copper was up 21 percent, gold 15 percent and zinc 18 percent, according to state statistics agency Inei.
Electrical output, a barometer of industrial activity, rose 5.45 percent while fishing jumped 154 percent. And government investments surged 27 percent in April, Inei said, suggesting a construction rebound after months of stalled public works.
Segura said that the government of President Ollanta Humala will ask Congress on Tuesday for the authority to legislate a new batch of reforms aimed at strengthening the economy in the medium and long term.
Segura urged lawmakers to approve the request quickly to boost consumer and business confidence.
“We need a clear sign that we’re all committed to shoring up economic growth,” Segura said.
Humala’s support in Congress has eroded in recent years. An opposition party affiliated with jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori now makes up the largest voting bloc. (Reporting By Marco Aquino, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy)