LIMA, May 25 (Reuters) - Peru's fiscal surplus was 5.9 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter of the year, 1.2 percentage points lower than in the same period last year, hurt by a fall in metal prices, the central bank said on Saturday.
'This evolution reflects the growth of non-financial government spending and weaker results from state companies,' the central bank said in its weekly report. A slight increase in government revenue linked to taxes helped offset the effect on the metals-producing country, the bank added.
Peru will post a fiscal surplus of 1 percent of GDP this year, the bank forecast in March.
Peru's fiscal surplus is usually high during the first months of the year due to lower government spending, as the biggest investments usually come in the second half of the year.
Peru's economy expanded 4.8 percent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2012, the slowest quarterly pace since late 2009, as the Andean nation's traditional mining exports slipped on weakening mineral prices.
President Ollanta Humala said on Friday he will prioritize investments and speed up infrastructure projects after the economy hit a 'bump in the road' with unexpectedly slow growth in the first quarter.
Peru's economy has been growing at one of the fastest clips in the region - 6.3 percent last year.
A similar rate has been expected for 2013 but after the weak first-quarter expansion the central bank said it was considering trimming its growth forecast for this year, even as it expects indicators will show that economic activity picked back up in April.
(Reporting by Omar Mariluz; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Eric Beech) Keywords: PERU/FISCAL SURPLUS
(firstname.lastname@example.org)(Twitter: @ReutersChile, @AlexandraUlmer)(+562-2-370-4229)(Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.