Peru’s Castillo says GDP will grow 13% in 2021

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lima
FILE PHOTO: People shop in Lima's central market as Peru extended a nationwide lockdown amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lima, Peru May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

November 18, 2021

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s socialist President Pedro Castillo said on Thursday in a conference with business leaders that the country’s gross domestic product is expected to grow 13% and beat expectations in 2021, amid a strong economy rebound from the pandemic.

“Legal certainty and clear rules will continue to exist, and for that I call on all good business people to continue to bet on Peru and invest without fear,” Castillo said during the CADE conference, the most important annual business conference in the world’s No. 2 copper producer.

Castillo has roiled markets and investors since taking over in July with promises to redistribute mining wealth, sending the local sol currency to record lows. But in his months in office he has also slightly moderated his initial stances, appointing a moderate left cabinet in October.

“Many of you not only doubted me, some voted against me,” Castillo said, who received support from rural voters in mining communities, but very little from Lima’s elite.

“Dear business people, GDP growth is not enough if it does not come accompanied by social welfare for everybody,” he added.

Peru’s economy fell more than 11% in 2020, one of the sharpest contractions in Latin America, amid tough lockdown measures. But Castillo said the rebound this year would lead to net growth over pre-pandemic levels, echoing comments made by the independent central bank last week.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Aurora Ellis)