UPDATE 1-Peru's central bank holds benchmark rate at 4 percent

jueves 8 de mayo de 2014 19:58 GYT

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LIMA May 8 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4 percent for the sixth month in a row on Thursday, citing expectations of dynamic economic growth and cooling inflation.

Central Bank President Julio Velarde said in an interview on Monday that he plans to hold the base rate as is in the near future unless demand stokes inflation or the economy slows abruptly.

All 14 foreign and local economists polled by Reuters this week forecast the bank would again leave the rate unchanged.

The central bank reiterated on Thursday, as it has in previous months, that economic growth has been weaker than its potential but that it will likely pick up soon.

"Indicators of productive activity and expectation polls point to dynamic economic activity, although at a slower rate than expected," the central bank said in a statement.

Last month the central bank cut its growth forecast for 2014 to 5.5 percent from 6 percent. The government has estimated a 5.7 percent expansion.

Peru's economy grew 5.56 percent in the 12 months through February, according to the most recent data available.

The annual inflation rate rose to 3.52 percent last month - above the upper limit of the central bank's 1 percent to 3 percent target range for the fourth month in a row.   Continuación...