Commercial activities in Peru have a relevant impact on the social structure, not only because it represents above 10% of the GDP, but also because it is one of the most important sources for employment and self-employment and accounts for nearly half of registered companies in Peru.
In the last three decades, commerce has moved along the total GDP trends, performing above the average since 2008. As a result, it has gone from accounting for 9.6% of the Peruvian GDP in 2005 to 11% in 2014.
Commerce also one of the largest shares in total employment with 19% of the labor force in this sector, second only to fishing, mining and farming altogether. It is also one of the fastest growing in terms of employment opportunities having increased its job offers in 18% in the last five years, second to the construction sector which grew in 32%, but the largest in absolute terms with nearly 500 thousand new jobs.
Easy of access to market; improvements in the microfinance environment; and an increasing purchasing capacity from an emerging middle class have been some of the factors behind the growth in commercial activities. The nature of these activities allows entrepreneurs to begin small and explore new opportunities which explain the large number of companies engaged in this area. In fact, 46.4% of Peruvian companies are registered in this sector, out of which 85% are sole proprietors and 96% are microbusiness with annual sales of less than 120 thousand euros, mostly in the retail sector.