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LIMA, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Peru's economy grew by a better-than-expected 3.26 percent in July from the same month a year ago thanks to surging copper production, state statistics agency Inei said Tuesday.
Peru's mining-fueled economy expanded 2.54 percent in the first seven months of 2015 and 2.07 percent in the past 12 months through July from their year-earlier periods, Inei said.
A 33 percent year-on-year rise in copper output led growth in July and helped offset shrinking manufacturing, construction and fishing activity, Inei said.
A Reuters poll had forecast a 3.05 percent expansion in July.
The economy grew at a seasonally-adjusted rate of 0.2 percent in July from June, Inei said.
The government and central bank have said they expect economic growth to quicken in the second half of 2015 as a recovery from last year's sharp slowdown takes shape. The economy grew just 2.35 percent in 2014, half as slow as in previous years when mineral prices fueled private investment.
Preliminary data shows that electric output rose 7.06 percent in August but that demand for cement slipped 0.98 percent and hydrocarbon activity dropped 19.92 percent.
The unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in the June through August, Inei said.
Reporting By Mitra Taj