Peru's central bank sees high inflation rate until year end

miércoles 17 de junio de 2015 17:46 GYT

By Teresa Cespedes

LIMA, June 17 (Reuters) - Peru's annual inflation rate will likely stay above the central bank's 3.0 percent target ceiling until the end of the year thanks to the depreciation of the local currency, the central bank said Wednesday.

The sol currency's more than 6.0 percent slide against the U.S. dollar in the past six months is pushing up prices, Central Bank President Julio Velarde said.

"Such a rapid rise in the exchange rate has repercussions for inflation," Velarde told journalists on the sidelines of an event. "We're going to be above 3.0 percent until nearly the end of the year."

Inflation rose twice as rapidly than expected in May, in part because of a port strike and local fuel shortages. The annual rate stood at 3.37 percent, above the upper limit of the central bank's 1.0 to 3.0 percent tolerance range for the third month in a row.

But Velarde said that quickening inflation in recent months has been largely driven by supply factors.

"If we detect elements of demand-driven inflation we'll take measures," Velarde said.

Economic activity picked up slightly in March and expanded at the fastest rate in more than a year in April on a mining surge.

But the growth rate for the past 12 months is still well under the 5.0 percent pace that the central bank considers Peru's potential rate.   Continuación...