May 15, 2020 / 4:47 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Peru's economy plunges 16% in March, worst month in almost 30 years

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By Marco Aquino

LIMA, May 15 (Reuters) - Peru’s economy slumped 16.26% in March versus the same month a year earlier, the government said on Friday, underscoring the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the world’s second-largest copper producing country.

That drop, after the country imposed a nationwide quarantine in March, was the worst monthly fall since at least the early 1990s, according to data from Peru’s statistics agency INEI, reflecting how the virus is battering economies worldwide.

The economy contracted 3.39% in the first quarter of the year, the statistics body added.

Despite the steep fall in March, it was still slightly better than the 19.45% contraction analysts had estimated in a Reuters poll.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan Editing by Nick Zieminski

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