(Adds milestone, central bank comments)
LIMA, April 9 (Reuters) - Peru’s central bank cut the benchmark interest rate to a historic low 0.25% on Thursday, the latest move by the copper-rich country to shore up its economy in the coronavirus pandemic that is hammering global markets and growth.
The South American country, the world’s No. 2 copper producer, most recently lowered the interest rate by 100 basis points to 1.25% in mid-March, taking it to a decade-low level to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus.
The central bank said the economy had been “severely affected” temporarily by simultaneous supply and demand shocks.
It added that inflation was likely to end up towards the lower limit of its 1%-3% target range because of the significant weakening of domestic demand.
The government has created an economic stimulus package of around 12% of GDP to alleviate the crisis, which has paralyzed Peru and left millions without jobs.
Peru has 5,256 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 138 deaths, according to the latest health ministry data. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan; editing by Grant McCool)
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