Thursday, July 11, 2013

Peru holds rate, makes reserve requirements more flexible

    Peru's central bank maintained its policy rate at 4.25 percent as inflation remains within the bank's target range and economic growth is close to the "economy's potential level of growth amid international financial uncertainty."
    The Central Bank of Peru (BCRP), which has held rates steady since April 2011, also made its reserve requirements regime more flexible and said that "if necessary, the Board will adopt additional measures to make the regime of requirement reserves more flexible in order to promote a more orderly evolution of credit."
    Under the new measures, the central bank said that a financial institution's long-term liabilities that are "not subject to reserve requirements was raised in May to 2.3 times the effective equity with the aim of promoting increased long-term financing in soles, and a maximum limit of 20 percent was established in June for the mean rate of reserve requirements in soles in order to reduce the dispersion of required reserves in the different financial entities and promote intermediation in soles, releasing in this way 500 million soles."
   Peru's economy has been weakening in recent months due to weaker mining and last month the central bank lowered its 2013 growth forecast to 6.1 percent from a previous forecast of 6.3 percent. In 2012 the economy expanded by 6.3 percent.
     In the first quarter, Peru's Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.1 percent from the previous quarter for annual growth of 4.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
    "Current and advanced indicators of activity show that the growth of the Peruvian economy is
close to its long-term sustainable level of growth, even though the indicators associated with
the external market still show a weak performance that affects the prices and volumes of
export products," the central bank said.
    Inflation in Peru rose to 2.77 percent in June from 2.47 percent in May due to higher prices of some foods and fuels.
    The central bank, which targets inflation of 1.0 to 2.0 percent, said it expects headline inflation to converge to the center of its target range in the next months due to better food supply, economic growth close to the economy's potential and to inflation expectations that are anchored to the bank's target range.


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