April 22, 2016 / 6:52 PM / a year ago

Peru poverty rate fell at slower pace in 2015 as recovery stalled

Arturo Tello sleeps with his dog Negrita Rubi as he asks for money in downtown Lima, September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru’s poverty rate fell more slowly in 2015 than in previous years, edging down a percentage point to 21.8 percent as a recovery in the mining nation stalled, government data showed on Friday.

Some 221,000 Peruvians emerged from poverty last year - 68,000 fewer than in 2014 and less than half as many as in prior years, according to state statistics agency Inei.

Greater gains were made in Peru’s Andean and Amazonian regions, where the poverty rate fell by about 1.5 points but was still more than 15 points higher than along the populated coast.

Inei defines poverty as the inability to purchase a basket of goods that would satisfy basic needs.

The economy recovered only slightly last year from a sharp slowdown in 2014, when prices for Peru’s key mineral exports tumbled and public spending dropped.

President Ollanta Humala had set a goal of reducing the poverty rate to 15 percent by the end of his five-year term on July 28.

Growth has been accelerating in recent months on the back of surging copper output from new mines, but domestic demand remains relatively weak.

Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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