Peruvian consumer prices rose in March at the fastest pace in eight months on increases in the cost of food, fuel and schooling.
Consumer prices rose 0.77 percent from February and 4.23 percent from the same month a year earlier, the national statistics agency said in an e-mailed report. Economists expected increases of 0.6 percent on the month and 4.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg (PRCPMOM).
Peru’s central bank raised its forecast for 2012 growth in a March 23 report and said inflation won’t slow to the mid-point of its 1 percent to 3 percent target range until next year. It previously saw inflation falling to 2 percent this year. The central bank will probably keep rates on hold in 2012 as activity picks up without stirring demand pressures, said Pedro Tuesta, a senior Latin America economist at 4Cast Inc.
“They won’t change the monetary stance unless the global economy worsens or oil prices rise and affect inflation expectations,” Tuesta said in a phone interview from Washington before the report was released.
The central bank, which has held its benchmark lending rate at 4.25 percent since May, sees the economy expanding 5.7 percent this year, compared with an estimate of 5.5 percent three months ago.
The government’s consumer price index is based on a survey of establishments conducted in the Lima Metropolitan area. Food and drink prices constitute 38 percent of the index.
Chicken prices rose 8.8 percent last month, vegetables gained 4.9 percent while schooling fees climbed 7.5 percent and gasoline rose 3.7 percent, the agency said.
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