(Adds quotes from minister, background on flooding)
LIMA, April 12 Peru's economy will grow around 3
percent in 2017, lower than the 3.8 percent previously expected,
due to the impact of deadly floods, Economy Minister Alfredo
Thorne said on Wednesday in a presentation to Congress.
The economy will grow 2 percent in the first half of the
year before rebounding to grow 4 percent in the second half
depending on the level of execution of planned reconstruction
efforts in the areas affected by the floods, Thorne said.
"It's more than what some analysts have predicted and...we
will still be among the highest-growth economies in Latin
America," he said.
Over a hundred people have died in Peru from rain-related
events since December, many in March after a sudden warming of
Pacific waters unleashed torrential downpours. Floods and
mudslides destroyed at least 6,000 miles of highways and damaged
thousands of homes.
Last week, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said
reconstruction efforts will cost $3 billion in the short term
and up to $9 billion over five years.
Thorne had previously said public spending on reconstruction
efforts would warrant a wider fiscal deficit than the
currently-expected 2.5 percent of GDP. In his Wednesday
presentation, he did not specify a new deficit target.
"What's important is that we have enough funds today to
allow us to finance this increase in the deficit almost without
debt," he said.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Luc Cohen and Alistair