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Peru’s Consumer Prices Rose for First Time in Three Months

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Peruvian consumer prices increased in December for the first time in three months after food costs and bus fares rose, the government said.

Prices climbed 0.26 percent from a month earlier and gained 2.65 percent last year, the national statistics agency said in an e-mailed statement. Economists expected a 0.32 percent rise on the month and a 2.7 percent gain on the year, according to the median estimates of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Peru’s central bank increased lenders’ reserve requirements on Dec. 30 for a fifth time in eight months to prevent credit growth from stoking inflation. The monetary authority has kept its benchmark lending rate at 4.25 percent since May 2011 on the expectation annual inflation would slow to within its target range of 2 percent plus or minus 1 percentage point.

Food and drink prices rose 0.18 percent last month and were up 4.1 percent last year, the agency said. Prices in the transport and communications segment increased 1 percent in December and fell 0.1 percent in 2012.

The agency’s consumer-price index is based on a survey of businesses in the Lima Metropolitan area. Food and drink products constitute 38 percent of the index.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Sanders at psanders@bloomberg.net

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