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Peru Sees Rates Steady: Velarde

May 2, 2013

Peru's central bank does not yet see signs for a rate cut, central bank governor Julio Velarde said.

Peru's central bank does not yet see signs for a rate cut, despite a dramatic drop in commodity prices that may force authorities to revise down growth forecasts, its central bank governor Julio Velarde has told LatinFinance.

"Of course we see a slowdown but the signs are still not there (for lowering rates)," he said. "This growth slowdown was expected, but I don't believe it will be more dramatic."

Velarde's comments came amid mounting speculation that the central bank will move to slash rates to boost growth that is below market expectations. The sol meanwhile experienced its sharpest weekly decline in four years, sliding 1.7% by last Friday.

The governor added that even though commodity prices have fallen, "they're still at a plateau that is pretty high."

The central bank might revise down its growth projections. "There has been such a dramatic fall in commodity prices that we now have to review our forecasts for growth for the coming years. These prices might affect the growth of the economy," Velarde said.

But he insisted that growth was nevertheless stable. "We don't have the tailwinds anymore but we don't have the headwinds either," he said.

Authorities were projecting an average of 6.5% growth before the drop in commodity prices, Velarde added. Peru's output expanded 5% in February from a year earlier after a 6.2% jump in January, the national statistics agency reported this month.

The central bank kept rates on hold for a 23rd consecutive month on April 11, citing stable growth and slowing inflation. Its next decision is May 9.



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