UPDATE 1-Peru central bank head sees room for looser monetary policy

viernes 5 de diciembre de 2014 11:29 GYT

(Adds detail, further comments)

By Fabian Cambero

SANTIAGO Dec 5 (Reuters) - Peru has room in coming months for a looser monetary policy, central bank Governor Julio Velarde told Reuters on Friday.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but I'd say there is a margin in coming months for more flexibility on monetary policy," Velarde said on the sidelines of an IMF regional conference in Chilean capital Santiago.

The Peruvian central bank held the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.50 percent for the second month straight in November, but reiterated its view that economic growth is below potential.

Velarde added that there could be a light adjustment to current 2015 growth estimates of 5.5 percent.

"It will be very close to 5 (percent)," he said. "If there is an adjustment, it will be very small."

Velarde also said inflation in Peru in December would be lower than the 0.17 percent reading from a year earlier. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn)