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Economic outlook

29/04/2020

Peru in 2020: Unprecedented crisis and challenges

José Carlos Saavedra, Partner and Principal economist.

The world is suffering the worst crisis of the past 75 years due to COVID-19, and signs of deteriorating economies are increasingly evident. On the healthcare front, the exponential rise of infection cases has collapsed healthcare systems at the global level. On the economic front, several indicators suggest that the economic activity has plummeted all around the globe.

In Peru, although there are signs of a slight flattening of the curve of COVID-19 cases, the more than 40 days of quarantine have not been enough to contain the virus. In this line, the government has been forced to extend the mandatory social distancing measures until May 10.

Given this situation and considering some key assumptions, APOYO Consultoria estimates that this year, GDP will fall 10%-12% in real terms, formal employment will be reduced by 20%, and private investment, by 40%-50%. Because this is an unprecedented crisis and the level of uncertainty is very high, economic growth will depend on the evolution of many factors, such as global economic growth, further extensions of the quarantine, economic measures carried out by the government, among others.

Up to now, the government’s economic response have moved in the right direction to mitigate the impact of this severe crisis. This response has included the granting of a subsidy to the most vulnerable families, a payroll subsidy, tax and financial relief for companies, liquidity lines with State guarantees, “perfect suspension” of work, and the financing of this economic program through external debt with low rates.

However, there are three important risks that could limit impact of the government’s measures on economic activity: i) that shortcomings in public administration and in the healthcare system will jeopardize the control of the virus spread and the reopening of the economy, ii) that social discontent will increase and generate violence, as well as a wave of populist measures, and iii) that the gradual process of reopening economic sectors will not be adequate.

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OUR PERSPECTIVE

INDICCA

En diciembre el Indicca se ubicó en 43 puntos, cuatro puntos por encima del nivel del mes anterior. Si bien este resultado sugiere una mejora en las condiciones para consumir de las familias limeñas hacia el cierre del año, en realidad una buena parte del incremento se explica por el efecto estacional que siempre se da en fiestas navideñas.

Agroindustria

La primera protesta social que tuvo que enfrentar el gobierno del presidente Sagasti ha sido protagonizada por trabajadores vinculados con la agroindustria de exportación, inicialmente centrada en la región Ica, que aporta la quinta parte de las exportaciones del sector agrícola no tradicional. Las demandas sociales se centraban en tres temas principales: (i) la eliminación de las services, (ii) el aumento de la remuneración diaria (de S/39,2 a S/70) con acceso a mayores beneficios y (iii) estabilidad laboral.

INDICCA

En noviembre el Indicca (Índice de Confianza del Consumidor de Lima Metropolitana de APOYO Consultoría e Ipsos) se ubicó en 39 puntos, tres puntos por debajo del resultado del mes anterior. Este resultado representa un estancamiento en la confianza de los consumidores en niveles históricamente bajos y pone freno a la incipiente recuperación que empezaba a observarse.

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