February 9, 2017 / 11:30 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Peru central bank holds benchmark rate for 12th straight month

(Adds comment from bank on inflation, context)

LIMA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.25 percent for the 12th consecutive month on Thursday, saying it expects inflation to ease into its target range of 1 percent to 3 percent this year.

Last month, the bank said inflation should reach its target range in mid-2017.

All 15 economists polled by Reuters had forecast the rate would be held after inflation cooled to 3.10 percent in January.

Weather issues have put pressure on some food prices, but any spikes should be temporary, the central bank said in a statement on its decision Thursday.

The central bank did not mention the impacts on growth from a corruption scandal that prompted the government to slash its outlook for this year's economic expansion.

Surging copper output from new and expanded mines has been driving economic growth in Peru, the world's second biggest copper producer. But domestic demand has remained relatively weak. (Reporting by Lima Newsroom; editing by Grant McCool)

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