UPDATE 2-Peru cenbank holds key rate after inflation cooled
(Adds quote from central bank, context)
LIMA Nov 12 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 3.50 percent for the second month in a row on Thursday in a widely expected move after inflation cooled in the past two months.
All 10 economists polled by Reuters expected policymakers to keep rates on hold this month after the central bank hiked the key rate in September to tame inflation that spiked to 4 percent on the depreciation of the local currency.
The central bank reiterated that it expects inflation to ease into its 1-3 percent target range next year and sounded more optimistic about the economy's recovery from a sharp slowdown.
"In 2016 the economy will likely be growing at a rate close to its potential," the central bank said in a statement.
Annual inflation fell to 3.66 percent in the most recent data.
Some analysts said they expect the central bank to hike the interest rate next month to soften the impacts on inflation from the slipping exchange rate and El Nino weather pattern.
The sol had steadied in September but weakened in the past two weeks on renewed expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates next month.
(Reporting By Lima Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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