Peru's central bank raises benchmark interest rate to 6.5%


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LIMA, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank raised the country's benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 6.5% on Thursday, its 13th consecutive hike as the copper-rich nation, along with much of the world, battles persistently high inflation.

Peru's inflation is at a 25-year high, despite slowing slightly in July to an annualized figure of 8.74%.

Peru's central bank reiterated its forecast that inflation will come back down to within the country's target band of 1-3% by the second half of 2023. The bank also said it expects inflation to gradually fall from now on due to falling energy and food prices.

The rate hike comes as many Latin American central banks are doing the same. Mexico's central bank raised its interest rate by 0.75 percentage point on Thursday, while Argentina's raised it by 9.5 percentage points.

Brazil hiked its Selic benchmark interest rate by 0.50 percentage point to 13.75% last week.

(Reporting by Carolina Pulice and Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Brendan O'Boyle and Leslie Adler)


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