(Adds quotes from central bank statement)
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank raised its benchmark interbank lending rate to 27.75 percent on Tuesday, up from 26.25 percent previously, the monetary authority said in a statement.
The increase followed data putting Argentina’s inflation at 1.9 percent in September, higher than previous months. The country’s cumulative inflation rate is 17.6 percent for the first nine months of the year, above the 12 percent to 17 percent target range for 2017.
The central bank said in a statement that a higher-than-expected rise in the price of fuel required it to “compensate” by trying to slow inflation in other areas of the economy.
Given what it called “the insufficient speed of disinflation,” the statement said the bank “concluded that a more contractive bias of its policy is required.”
The bank said it will continue its “clear anti-inflationary bias” and stood by its goal of lowering inflation toward a 2018 target range of 8 percent to 12 percent.
A poll of analysts by the central bank early this month showed a median forecast of 15.8 percent inflation for 2018.
Reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Luc Cohen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker