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Peru 2019 inflation 1.9%; within target range

LIMA, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Peru closed 2019 with annual inflation of 1.9%, in the middle of the official target range, as the South American nation faces slower growth and political upheaval with Congress shuttered, the government said on Wednesday.

The inflation rate marks a slower rise in prices than the 2.19% increase in 2018, although it was higher than the 1.36% recorded in 2017 when the cost of living in the copper-rich nation was the lowest in eight years.

The central bank's target range for 2019 inflation had been between 1% and 3%.

Monthly December inflation was 0.21%, higher than 0.18% in the same month a year earlier, owing to a seasonal increase in transportation rates for the end-of-year holidays.

Peru's economy is expected to grow by over 2.2% in 2019 - below the 4% expansion in 2018 - in the face of falling local public investment and the deceleration of the global economy. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by David Gregorio)

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