(Adds comment from bank on inflation, context)
LIMA Feb 9 Peru's central bank left the
benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.25 percent for the 12th
consecutive month on Thursday, saying it expects inflation to
ease into its target range of 1 percent to 3 percent this year.
Last month, the bank said inflation should reach its target
range in mid-2017.
All 15 economists polled by Reuters had forecast the rate
would be held after inflation cooled to 3.10 percent in January.
Weather issues have put pressure on some food prices, but
any spikes should be temporary, the central bank said in a
statement on its decision Thursday.
The central bank did not mention the impacts on growth from
a corruption scandal that prompted the government to slash its
outlook for this year's economic expansion.
Surging copper output from new and expanded mines has been
driving economic growth in Peru, the world's second biggest
copper producer. But domestic demand has remained relatively
(Reporting by Lima Newsroom; editing by Grant McCool)