CORRECTED-Bolivia's economy grew 2.9% in run-up to contentious 2019 vote

(In Jan. 21 story, corrects first sentence to show the growth rate was for the first three quarters of 2019, not for the third quarter. In 5th paragraph corrects to show the 3rd-quarter growth was the slowest since 2003, not slightly faster than the 2nd quarter.)

LA PAZ, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Bolivia’s economy grew 2.86% year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2019, one of the weakest rises in years, underscoring the economic challenges facing the country which is still grappling with political upheaval after a disputed election in October.

The rise was also well below the official target of 4.5% for the full-year, which Yuri Miranda, director of the national statistics bureau, said was due to uncertainty in global markets and hits to mining, crude oil and natural gas sectors.

On the positive side driving growth had been industries including agriculture, manufacturing and financials, he added.

“Despite the adverse international environment, the Bolivian economy continues to show dynamism, registering the second highest growth rate in South America,” Miranda told reporters.

The third-quarter rise, calculated at 2.3%, was the weakest quarterly growth since 2003. Bolivia’s economy has however been in positive territory since the turn of century, making it one of the more reliable economies in the region.

Bolivia’s official forecast for 2020 is for growth of 4.2%. (Reporting by Danny Ramos in La Paz; writing by Adam Jourdan Editing by Nick Zieminski)