Virus-hit Peru GDP plummets 40%


Lima (AFP)

Peru, one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, has seen GDP plummet by more than 40 percent year on year in April, the government said Monday.

Mining production fell sharply in one of the world's largest producers of copper, gold and silver, contracting by more than 42.29 percent in April.

Overall economic activity fell 40.49 percent, the national statistics institute said.

The sharp fall in April "reflects the underperformance of most productive sectors, with an impact on trade, production, construction, mining, hydrocarbons, transportation, hotels and business services," it said.

The Peruvian economy, one of the strongest in Latin America over the last decade, had already contracted more than 16 percent in March.

Before March, the Andean country registered 127 months of consecutive growth.

Despite a lockdown in place since March 16, Peru is the second worst-hit country in Latin America after Brazil, with nearly 230,000 cases and almost 7,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The centrist government of President Martin Vizcarra rolled out a series of economic measures including an aid package to more than 6.5 million homes.

However, Vizcarra was later forced to extend the current quarantine until June 30, making Peru's one of the world's longest lockdowns.