Throughout history, Peru has experienced both economic growth and more recently a lack there of. Between 1950 and 1965, Peru's economy was stronger than most other Latin American countries. In fact, following World War II, Peru's economy was achieving a roughly 3% growth rate and was successfully curbing inflation and exporting more and more diverse products. From 1965 until 1988, the country's economy experienced no growth at all and shortly after fell below its GDP of 1965. An increase in inflation quickly followed as well as a hefty external debt. There are various reasons as to why the economy has failed in the past decades. For example, one problem has been the diminishing natural resources used in many of their exported products. Also, the economy suffered a great deal due to the country's inequalities with much of the country under the poverty line. This led to some radical attempts at social change that were altogether unsuccessful. Additionally, a surge of imports and a rapid increase in government spending has badly injured Peru's economic progress. Finally, a surge in rural violence as well as the government's inability to control it only further harmed the country's progress. With the arrival of the 1990s came a serious disillusionment among Peruvian citizens regarding the country's recovering.
Today, Peru's economy is experiencing an annual GDP growth rate of 8% with much of its focus on the services sector, a large 65% accounting for 73% of the nearly 10 million person labor force. Following services is the industry sector which accounts for just over 26% of the GDP. Some industries include mining, steel and metal fabrication, textiles, and food processing. Agriculture accounts for the remaining 8.5% of the Peruvian GDP and only 9% of the labor force. Agricultural products include asparagus, coffee, sugarcane, cotton, rice, potatoes, corn, plantains, citrus, meats, and even more.
Export has been an important part of the economy in Peru. Some of the main countries that Peru exports to is the Unites States, China, Canada, Chile, Japan, and Switzerland. The most important exports are metals like copper and gold, petroleum, machinery, vehicles, and paper.
Despite Peru's earlier periods of harsh economic struggle, much speculation predicts that the country's economy will strengthen significantly during the next seven or eight years. Likewise the external debt will continue to drop during the coming years assisting with Peru's efforts to further strengthen the economy.