UPDATE 1-Peru central bank hikes key rate for second straight month
(Adds context, quote from central bank)
LIMA Jan 14 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to 4 percent on Thursday as expected, its second hike in a row as it battles to keep inflation expectations from rising further.
Eight of 14 economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted the 25 basis-point increase after inflation surprised on the upside for a third straight month in December and private forecasts for 2016 inflation crept higher above its 1-3 percent target range.
The hike was the third in the past five months as the sol currency's depreciation drove up prices in the global mining powerhouse.
The central bank said that inflation that reached a four-year high of 4.4 percent at the end of 2015 was driven by the currency's depreciation and temporary supply factors such as up food and transport costs.
"They should not translate in a generalized way to the rest of prices in the economy," the central banks said in a statement.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Alan Crosby, Bernard Orr)
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