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Peru registers the steepest inflation in almost four years in January

Consumer prices in Peru rose 0.74% in January, the highest monthly figure in nearly four years due to increases in food and fuel costs, the government said on Monday, while the country faces an outbreak of the coronavirus.

The data for the first month of the year is the most pronounced since March 2017, when the Consumer Price Index of Metropolitan Lima (CPI), the benchmark for inflation in Peru, advanced 1.30%. In January 2020, inflation was 0.05%.

The National Institute of Statistics and Information (INEI) said in a statement that the cost of food and beverages, which has the greatest weight in the indicator, advanced 1.43% in January; while the prices of fuels and home rentals rose 1.11%.

With the January data, annualized inflation jumped to 2.68%, the INEI specified. The Central Reserve Bank has as an annualized inflation target a range between 1% and 3%.

Peru, whose economy contracted 11.6% last year due to the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic according to official projections, registered an inflation of 1.97% in 2020, above the rate of price increases of 1.90 % of the previous year.

Melissa Galbraith
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