Peru says manufacturing activity likely flat this year
LIMA Nov 11 (Reuters) - Manufacturing activity in Peru will likely rebound soon but will end the year flat, contributing to the country's worst economic slowdown since 2009, the minister who oversees industry said on Tuesday.
Production Minister Piero Ghezzi said higher government spending will likely put the key sector on track to expand by around 5 percent next year.
In the first eight months of 2014 manufacturing slipped 0.86 percent from the same period a year ago. The sector makes up 16.5 percent of Peru's gross domestic product.
"Growth in manufacturing is going to be null this year," Ghezzi told reporters at a news conference.
After a decade-long mining boom, Peru's once-surging economic growth has slowed sharply this year on tumbling mineral exports and is now set to expand by around 3 percent.
Last year the economy grew by 5.8 percent.
Ghezzi said he is working to diversify Peru's mining-driven economy.
"If we do not find other motors of economic growth we cannot get back to annual growth rates of 7 percent."
(Reporting by Marco Aquino, Writing by Mitra Taj; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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