In the decade to 2014 Peru became one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, with an average annual real GDP growth rate of 6.2%, second only to Panama (8.2%), and well ahead of the Latin American and Caribbean average (3.4%). The strong pace of economic growth during a decade-long, commodities-led economic boom tripled Peruvian GDP and led to a major reduction in the poverty rate, which fell from nearly half the population (49.2%) in 2006 to under a quarter (23.9%) in 2013. However, the end of the commodities cycle saw GDP growth slow to an estimated 2.5% in 2015, according to the IMF. In 2016 the mineral-rich Andean country faces some uncertainty, with general elections scheduled for April 2016, the occurrence of the El Niño weather pattern and continued external headwinds. Even so, a recovery is expected to begin, with growth forecast to reach 3.3% in 2016, on the back of increased mining activity and continued public spending on major infrastructure projects.