February 12, 2015 / 11:28 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Peru's central bank holds key interest rate at 3.25 pct

(Adds context, details)

LIMA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Peru’s central bank left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.25 percent on Thursday as the local sol currency trades around a nearly six-year low and economic growth remains slow.

The bank had lowered the key rate by 25 basis points in January to encourage economic growth, in its third reduction since July.

A majority of analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the central bank would hold the rate steady to avoid prompting a steeper slide in the sol .

Central Bank President Julio Velarde shrugged off worries about economic growth last week and told Reuters he did not see the need for “very aggressive monetary easing.”

The central bank reiterated in a statement that economic growth remains below its potential rate and that it expects inflation to slow to its goal of 2 percent this year. (Reporting by Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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