(Adds context on inflation, comment from central bank)
LIMA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank held the benchmark interest rate steady at 4.25 percent for the eighth month in a row on Thursday, as expected, after inflation rose slightly above the upper limit of the bank's target range.
All nine economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the rate hold, which followed a slight increase in the annual inflation rate to 3.13 percent last month - above the central bank's 1-3 percent target range.
The central bank reiterated in a statement that it expects inflation to cool to 2.8 percent by the end of the year before easing to its goal of 2 percent in 2017.
Private analysts polled by the central bank in September raised their view for 2016 inflation to 3.0 percent from 2.8 percent, but left their outlook for 2017 unchanged at 2.6 percent.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Sandra Maler and Andrew Hay)