Peru's central bank says sees higher inflation in 2014
LIMA, April 1 (Reuters) - Inflation in Peru will likely rise by around 2.4 percent or 2.5 percent in 2014 instead of the 2 percent target previously estimated by the central bank, a spokesman for the bank said on Tuesday, confirming a state news agency report.
Jhonny Rojas, the central bank spokesman, confirmed remarks by Central Bank President Julio Velarde quoted by local media.
Velarde told state news agency Andina that his new estimate for inflation this year follows the annual rate's weaker-than-expected slowdown in March.
The central bank, which aims to keep inflation between 1 percent and 3 percent, has said in recent months that after an initial rise in prices this year the annual inflation rate would cool to its goal of 2 percent.
Peru's inflation index rose 0.52 percent in March as the rate for the past 12 months eased to 3.38 percent from 3.78 percent in February.
"We expected an important decrease in annual inflation," Velarde was quoted as saying in Andina. "The idea is that inflation will converge toward 2.4 or 2.5 percent at the end of the year."
Andina reported that Velarde attributed higher prices to supply factors.
In November of 2013 the central bank lowered the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percent to spur slower-than-usual economic growth.
(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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