KEY ISSUES Context: Peru remains one of the best performing economies in Latin America, with solid macroeconomic fundamentals, strong policy frameworks, and visible gains in poverty reduction. Like most of the region, Peru faced a challenging external environment in 2014. External shocks were compounded by domestic supply disruptions and a drop in subnational public investment, and growth decelerated sharply. Headline inflation was slightly above the upper band of the central bank’s (BCRP) target range due to supply shocks, but expectations remained well anchored. The external current account deficit declined slightly despite weaker external conditions. Outlook and risks: Growth is expected to recover in 2015 and over the medium term, contingent on production at new mines approaching capacity, priority infrastructure projects advancing, and shocks to terms of trade fading. However, downside risks dominate. Externally, these include a surge in global financial volatility, further dollar appreciation, or lower commodity prices and external demand. Domestic downside risks include weaker investment, uncertainties surrounding 2016 Presidential elections, and persistent social conflicts. A faster unwinding of supply shocks or a more complete pass- through of lower food and fuel global prices constitute upside risks. Near-term policy mix: The policy mix is broadly adequate to support the recovery and maintain macroeconomic stability. The immediate priority is expediting the execution of public investment in line with government plans, while avoiding increases in non-priority current spending. Monetary policy should remain responsive to inflation expectations and external developments. Exchange rate flexibility should be the main line of defense against any additional external pressures. The timely use of macro-prudential tools and ongoing de-dollarization efforts should further solidify financial stability. Medium-term prospects: With the end of the commodity boom, a push to deepen structural reforms will be necessary to sustain potential growth and diversify the economy. Revenue losses would need to be offset to finance structural reforms, investment, and inclusion along a gradual fiscal consolidation path. Streamlining legal requirements and red tape is rightly a government reform priority and the ambitious education reform and inclusion polices should stay their course within the framework of fiscal discipline. Persevering with labor market reform remains important.
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|Size: ||3.8 MB|
|Publisher: ||INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9781513556697 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|