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LatinNews Daily - 18 December 2020

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In brief: Peru’s economy minister sees cause for optimism

* Peru’s economy minister Walter Mendoza has claimed that the country’s economy is “recovering faster than expected” due to its “fiscal strength”, and noted that the fiscal deficit for 2020 now looks set to total around 8.8% of GDP, less than the 10.7% previously predicted. Mendoza also challenged the recent projection from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) that Peru’s GDP would contract by a total of 12.9% in 2020, one of the worst predicted performances in the region. Mendoza maintained that this contraction is “very likely” to be below 12%, citing the strong performance of the construction sector in November, and claimed that the economy ministry’s forecast of 10% GDP growth in 2021 “is no longer an optimistic projection, but a realistic one, that can even be exceeded”. Eclac estimated that Peru’s GDP will grow by 9% next year.