The performance of Latin American countries in reducing poverty and expanding the middle class has been remarkable. By taking a close look at the Peruvian experience, we examine how this aggregate behavior relates to business cycle conditions and whether different population groups share this behavior. We find that social mobility is cyclical; it decreases in recessions but increases with strong economic growth. The reduction in poverty in Peru appears to be the result of a sustained increase in the poverty exit rate together with a prolonged decrease in the poverty entry rate. These results hold among heterogeneous groups and are particularly marked for households regarded as initially disadvantaged.