(Adds quote from official, context from government report)
By Patricia Velez
LIMA, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Peru’s economy grew a faster-than-expected 2.7 percent in September from the same month last year, led by construction while the key mining sector contracted, state statistics agency INEI said on Monday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to expand 2.1 percent in September.
It was largely in line with central bank and government forecasts on Friday for a pace between 2.5 and 3 percent. It was also the most growth registered on a monthly basis since March, when gross domestic product grew 5.47 percent.
“The sectors that influenced (September’s result) were basically those aimed at the domestic market. Construction grew 6.93 percent and local retail was up 4.53 percent,” INEI chief Alejandro Vílchez told reporters.
The official growth figure was faster than August’s 1.24 percent but far below the 4.91 percent rate Peru logged in September 2013.
Manufacturing slipped 1.77 percent in September, year on year, while the mining sector fell 3.09 percent due to a slowdown in copper and gold production.
Soon after announcing the year-on-year growth rate, the government of the world’s No. 3 copper producer said the economy expanded by 0.4 percent in September versus August.
In 2013, Peru’s economy grew 5.8 percent for the full year.
The South American country is also a top global exporter of silver and gold. It’s economy surged at rates topping 6 percent for most of the past decade during a mining boom. But weaker prices and softer global demand for its mineral exports have curbed growth this year. (Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Meredith Mazzilli and Bernard Orr)