UPDATE 2-Peru's central bank sees weaker growth, wider trade gap in 2014
(Adds central bank's revised potential growth rate, details)
By Patricia Velez and Teresa Cespedes
LIMA, July 18 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank slashed its view of this year's economic expansion to 4.4 percent from 5.5 percent in a quarterly report on Friday, forecasting a drop in mining activity and a ballooning trade deficit.
The central bank's new outlook for this year's expansion maintains its view that economic activity will pick up in the second half of 2014. Growth posted so far this year, between January and May, was 3.57 percent compared with the same period in 2013.
Growth expectations for Peru, one of Latin America's most robust economies, have dimmed because of weaker prices and softer demand for its mineral products.
The Andean country's economy surged at rates topping 6 percent on the back of the global commodities boom during most of the past decade.
A 4.4 percent growth would be its weakest since 2009, when it stumbled as a result of the global financial crisis.
Last year Peru's economy grew 5.8 percent.
The central bank said it now sees a 6 percent expansion instead of 6.7 percent in 2015. Continuación...