June 15, 2017 / 3:32 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Peru's economy grows at slowest rate in nearly 8 years in April

(Adds comment and second quarter growth estimate from economy ministry in paragraphs 5, 6)

LIMA, June 15 (Reuters) - Peru’s economy grew 0.17 percent in April compared with the same month a year earlier, government statistics agency Inei said on Thursday, the lowest monthly expansion since July 2009 amid declines in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

That was well below median expectations in a Reuters poll for an interannual expansion of 0.9 percent. Compared with March, however, the economy expanded 0.47 percent as the key mining sector grew 1.9 percent and fishing boomed.

The Andean country has been one of the fastest growing economies in the region in recent years. But a corruption scandal linked to Brazilian construction company Odebrecht has paralyzed public works this year, and devastating floods in the northern region have also weighed on the economy.

Construction fell 8.0 percent year-on year, while the manufacturing and agricultural sectors also declined, according to Inei. Overall, the economy has grown 1.58 percent in the first four months of the year compared with the same period in 2016, and has expanded 3.12 percent in the past 12 months.

Peru’s government expects the economy to grow 3 percent in 2017. In a statement released after Thursday’s data was published, the Economy Ministry said “the worst has passed” and estimated second-quarter growth at 2 percent, in line with the previous quarter.

It also predicted June growth of around 3.5 percent.

Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chris Reese

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