By NICK PERRY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Australia’s central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to 3.1% as it tries to wrestle down inflation. The increase was the bank’s eighth in a row for the bank and takes the rate to its highest level in 10 years. Still, it remains lower than in many other countries including the United States, where the Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate to a range of 3.75% to 4%. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said inflation remains too high at 6.9%. He said global factors are the main reason inflation is high, but strong domestic demand relative to the ability of the economy to meet that demand is another factor.