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Argentine central bank holds benchmark rate at 27.25%

Banco Central de la República Argentina on March 27 again maintained its monetary policy rate at 27.25% as it expects inflation to remain high for the time being before gradually returning to a downward trend.

In February, Argentina's consumer price index, or CPI, showed variations of 2.4% in general price levels and 2.1% for the core component. "With these results, year-on-year inflation reached 25.4%, while its core component registered 21.6%," the central bank said in a statement, while also noting that high frequency indicators suggested that core inflation will remain high throughout March.

Still, the regulator expects the acceleration of inflation in recent months to be transitory after an increase in regulated prices and the strong depreciation of the Argentine peso at the turn of the year. "In the view of the BCRA, once these transitory factors have been overcome, inflation will consolidate its downward trend," it said.

BCRA said it will continue to manage its monetary policy to reach its intermediate inflation target of 15% in 2018.